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Monday February 6, 2006 - 11:43:25 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD remains weighed down by positioning – 1.1965 (100-day MA) is key support.
• USD-JPY key levels at 118.20-35 & 119.50-120.00.
• NOK could improve further ahead of Friday’s CPI.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD continues to trade rather heavily and Friday’s IMM positioning data shows one of the reasons why. The net spec long position as of last Tuesday (36,382 contracts) was only 1k down on the previous week, suggesting that liquidation pressure was probably high in the second half of last week. It will be an important period over the next couple of days, with EUR-USD right back on its 100-day moving average. It was the break above this indicator on January 4 (1.2010 at the time) that triggered the improvement in the New Year, but the move has recently fizzled out. The 100-day moving average now comes in at 1.1965 and was briefly tested on Friday. A close back below this level will be a negative signal, suggesting that EUR-USD will give up further ground in the short-term – next supports at 1.1925 and 1.1780. Levels at 1.2045 and 1.2110 need to be won back in the short-term to reduce the risk of such a development. A move lower is favoured.

USD-JPY has pulled back lower after testing close to the119.50-120.00 resistance area on Friday. Another test higher seems likely this week, but this key area should probably hold for now, unless there is further good news for the USD. The only important US number due this week is Friday’s trade data. Below 118.20-35 is needed to suggest a short-term failure at 119.50-120.00 and the likelihood of a subsequent move lower. However, overall we would see the risk to the topside on USDJPY (up towards 125.00) over the next 1-2 months.

The NOK started improving at the back end of last week, in part perhaps because the market was looking more directly at this Friday’s CPI data and market forecasts of a reversal of the weakness in the core rate seen last month. That weakness was the source of much of the recent troubles for the NOK and if cleared up could see it coming back into favour. A EUR-NOK break below key support at 8.00-8.01 could occur ahead of Friday, but this will also depend upon how much further Norway is dragged into the row over the cartoons originally published in the Danish press. Above 8.06 would open up some initial upside.

German manufacturing orders data was weaker than expected although this data series can be volatile and as one can see from the chart, the underlying trend remains up.

Day Ahead
Eurozone – Trichet speaks today and the market will be looking for more hints about future policy prospects. Last week’s comments were slightly more hawkish than those offered previously, leaving the way open for a rate hike in March if the council deem it necessary. It will be interesting to see in the weeks ahead whether the ECB is confident enough about the mind of the council to drop further hints about a March hike.

Canada – the Canadian PMI is unadjusted and prone to volatility, as was seen in last month’s plunge to 48.3 from 65.8. A big rebound looks likely and if this fails to materialise the market would be slightly more concerned.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Fed’s Fisher – Is the US still the engine for global growth? 07.25
CA Building permits (Dec) m/m 08.30 +2.0%
EU Trichet speaks on economy 09.15
CA PMI (Jan, nsa) 10.00 54.2
GB BRC retail survey (Jan) y/y 19.01 +2.6% last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU ANZ job ads (Jan) m/m -0.9% +3.1%
CN PMI manu (Jan) 52.1 54.3 last
DE Manu orders (Dec) m/m -1.6% +0.5%
* 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.


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