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Monday March 13, 2006 - 12:01:52 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• UAE comments boost EUR-USD.
• JPY remains vulnerable to further weakness.
• Trichet, NZ retail sales feature today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD traded higher during the Asian session, helped by comments made over the weekend by UAE central bank governor, Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi. He said that the US ports row would undermine investor confidence in the US. He also said that the UAE would be looking to transfer about 10% of its USD reserves into EUR, double the amount they had previously targeted. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority agreed that investors would be disappointed with the furore over the ports issue, but said that their own investment decisions would not be affected at this stage. The UAE said later this morning that they had not been in the market buying EUR today and that key decisions would be taken at a meeting in April. EUR-USD has since slipped back a little and is now marginally above where it was trading late Friday. The US market may show some reaction to the UAE story, although market appetite for EURUSD direction, especially the upside, still looks fairly limited.

GBP is more vulnerable after Friday’s break lower in cable and downside risk will remain while it stays below 1.7305. The JPY is perhaps a clearer story after the confirmation last week that Japanese rates would be staying at very low levels for a long time yet. There are some sizeable barriers coming up on USD-JPY (119.50-120.00) and EUR-JPY (142.50-143.50) and these may be difficult to take out initially. However, with rates still rising in the Eurozone and the US there is overall downside risk for the JPY in the next 1-2 months.

Day Ahead
Trichet – Trichet gives a press conference after the bi-monthly G10 central bankers meeting, but does so in his capacity as chairman of that group rather than ECB head. He will therefore be offering the views of the group as a whole and while he will no doubt talk about the need for vigilance on inflation he will also note that the outlook for inflation remains good.

New Zealand – retail sales will be significant for the NZD. The market is on the lookout for evidence of possible economic implosion by way of a delayed response to high interest rates. Last month (Dec), sales were flat m/m and this followed +0.8% (Nov), -0.3% (Oct) and -0.7% (Sep). In short, there is some evidence of sales faltering after the strength of recent years and this is also reflected in some softening in the y/y rate. In Q4 this was +5.7% - the lowest since Q4 2003. Note also that Jan and Feb last year had very strong m/m growth rates (+1.1% and +1.8% respectively) meaning that if they are not matched the y/y rate will fall back further. In other words, the current y/y rate is probably quite flattering in terms of what it is suggesting for underlying sales growth. If for example, zero m/m outcomes are seen for both Jan and Feb, the y/y rate will halve, to +2.9% from +5.8% in Dec. A rocky outlook remains in place for the NZD and next support is down at 0.6240 once 0.6400/10 (currently under attack) is cleared.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

EU ECB’s Trichet to spk at BIS 07.00
CA Capacity utilisation (Q4) 08.30 87.1%
US Fed’s Yellen on Fed credibility 12.45
NZ Retail trade (Jan) m/m 16.45 +0.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP GDP (Q4, 2nd est) q/q +1.3% +1.2%
JP Current account (Jan, sa) Y1.6trn Y1.5trn
JP Consumer confidence (Feb) 49.9 49.8
IT Ind prod (Jan) m/m -0.3% 0.0%
GB PPI input (Feb) m/m 0.0% +0.3%
GB PPI output (Feb) m/m +0.3% +0.2%
GB PPI output core (Feb) y/y +1.8% +1.6%
GB ODPM house prices (Jan) y/y +4.3% +3.2%
* 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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