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Wednesday January 11, 2006 - 12:01:38 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD still struggling for direction, although softer bias will stay in place while USD-JPY remains below 115.00 and EUR-USD above 1.2000.
• Tomorrow’s ECB meeting and US trade data could be significant.
• Fed speakers have been slightly hawkish this week, prompting a minor hardening in rate expectations.
• UK trade data worse than expected.
• Fed’s Geithner and Australian employment feature.

Market Outlook

A fairly quiet night’s trading although EUR-USD suffered a temporary dip in Europe and the JPY eventually recovered much of the minor weakness recorded in Asia. There is not that much on the agenda today with the potential to stimulate activity. The USD has failed to build on the weakness seen on Friday and Monday, but this does not mean it is out of the woods. 115.00 needs to be won back on USD-JPY to reintroduce some confidence for potential longs, while EURUSD is also likely to retain solid support ahead of tomorrow’s US trade data and ECB meeting. Indeed, the tone of both of these events could be important in determining where EURUSD and the USD in general go from here. Retail sales and PPI also feature in the US on Friday, but will need to reveal something unusual to influence the Fed policy debate. If 115.00 is resistance on USD-JPY current supports come in at 114.10 and 113.75. Below there would signal more trouble. EUR-USD will retain upside risk towards the 200-day moving average at 1.2208 while it stays above the 100-day moving average at 1.2003.

NY Fed president Geithner speaks on policy today and other Fed speakers this week (Hoenig and Guynn) have been cautious but slightly hawkish on policy. They have acknowledged that the funds rate is now in neutral territory and that because of this it is now more difficult for the Fed to give firm commitments about how policy will develop. All will depend upon the evolution in the outlook for economic activity and inflation, but they both indicated a fear of upside risk for inflation. This has contributed to a modest firming in expectations about the March 28 FOMC outcome, as can be seen in the April Fed funds future, now at 4.66% (see chart).

UK trade data was much worse than expected and this could weigh further on GBP today. However, this is one month’s worth of data and there will be doubts about the reliability of a data series that can be so volatile. The volatility is evident in the data with non-EU countries (EU data is quite stable). November may just be one of those occasions where such m/m volatility in imports and exports has thrown up a very bad number. In value terms, exports were revised down for October and fell further in November, while imports were revised up for October and rose a further 3.2% in November. It doesn’t look pretty, but perhaps we should wait and see what next month’s data is like before jumping to any firm conclusions.

Day Ahead
Australia – employment data is due this evening but this has been patchy of late and it seems unlikely that a definitive strong or weak trend will emerge in the short-term. RBA rate expectations are likely to remain becalmed. January consumer sentiment, released last night, showed a m/m improvement, but this merely reversed the deterioration seen the previous month.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Fed’s Geithner spks on policy 12.00
JP M2 plus CDs (Dec) y/y 18.50 +2.2%
AU Employment (Dec) 19.30 +9.0k
AU Unemployment rate (Dec) 19.30 5.1%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jan 8) -8 -9 last
AU Consumer sentiment (Jan) m/m +2.6% -2.7% last
FR Trade balance (Nov) €3.1bn -€2.1bn
SE Ind prod (Nov) -0.6% +0.5%
SE Unemployment rate (Dec) 5.5% 5.5%
GB Global trade balance (Nov) -£5.97bn -£4.9bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Nov) -£3.02bn -£2.4bn
* Consensus unless stated

2005, Mellon Financial Corporation Note: Although obtained from sources believed by us to be reliable, Mellon Financial Corporation and its affiliates cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information upon which this report is based. This report does not purport to disclose the risks or benefits of entering into particular transactions and should not be construed as advice in any specific instance. The views in this report constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without notice.
Ian Gunner 44 20 7163 5996 06.40 EDT Monday May 31 2005


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