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Friday January 13, 2006 - 11:30:25 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD struggling for direction amidst market uncertainty over relative interest rate arguments.
• JPY rally also fizzles out – 113.50 and 115.00 are key short-term parameters on USD-JPY.
• US PPI, retail sales, business sales feature today.

Market Outlook

The EUR-USD rally fizzled out rather dramatically yesterday, suggesting that position takers do not have much confidence in overall direction at the present time. This is not surprising given the uncertainty that now exists about the future of US rate policy. The prospect of some further modest tightening by the ECB remains in place on the basis of what Trichet was suggesting yesterday, despite the clamour over the dropping of the word vigilance when describing how they will monitor inflation (where they still see upside risk). Comments from Trichet (who speaks to business school students today) will be closely monitored, but his remarks (if indeed published at all) are unlikely to shed any further light on the current situation.

It may be difficult for the USD to rally that much ahead of the Jan 31 FOMC announcement. The market may see the change in chairmanship as increasing the risk of them stepping back further from making any firm commitments about future tightening. However, once Bernanke is in place it seems likely that the rhetoric from the Fed will continue to suggest more tightening and this could offer the USD some additional support in February. The extent of this will of course depend upon the data, but as yet there are few major signs of a slowing in activity. The recent move in oil prices and the impact this has on consumer sentiment will however be monitored in this regard. EUR-USD needs to break out of a 1.20-1.22 range to suggest any fresh short-term direction. This may be difficult today unless there is something very unusual in the US data (see below).

Japanese machinery orders came in weaker than expected, although the overall uptrend remains intact. USD-JPY failed to sustain the downmove yesterday and 113.50 (61.8% retracement of the Sep-Dec upmove) is the main barrier. Above 115.00 is required to remove short-term downside risk.

Day Ahead
US – PPI, retail sales and business inventories/sales data feature today. It seems likely the PPI report will confirm the recent softening in pipeline inflation pressure. If there is any sign of strength this would be one factor that would almost certainly cause the market to be more confident about the funds rate hitting 4.75% on March 28. Retail sales have been very solid of late, especially stripping out the more volatile items like autos and spending in gas stations. This should have continued in December. Business sales have also been strong for most of 2005, outstripping the growth in inventories - a clear sign of economic strength.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US PPI (Dec) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US PPI core (Dec) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US Retail sales (Dec) m/m 08.30 +0.9%
US Retail sales ex-autos (Dec) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
EU ECB’s Trichet speaks 09.00
US Business inventories (Nov) m/m 10.00 +0.4%
US Business sales (Nov) m/m 10.00 +0.8% last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Federal budget (Dec) $11bn -$2.1bn
GB NIESR GDP (3mths to Dec) q/q +0.5% +0.4% last
JP Machinery orders core (Nov) m/m +2.3% +5.4%
DE WPI (Dec) y/y +2.4% +2.4%
FR CPI (Dec) y/y +1.5% +1.6%
ES CPI (Dec) y/y +3.7% +3.8%
* Consensus unless stated
(nominal value % y/y)

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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