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Friday March 31, 2006 - 11:11:44 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR pulls back but recovery should be seen going into next week.
• Arguments continue to mount in favour of the AUD, despite this morning’s retreat.
• Eurozone business climate indicators strong, UK consumer confidence weak.
• US data (core PCE prices, Chicago PMI, Michigan sentiment) & Canadian monthly GDP are due today.

Market Outlook

DTEUR-USD has pulled back this morning, but has remained above 1.2080, which carried some significance at various points yesterday. This morning’s data releases have if anything been supportive of the EUR, with business sentiment/climate surveys stronger than expected and CPI in line with expectations. The comments made yesterday still apply i.e. that the EUR should generally outperform in the short-term against other majors as the market responds further to the positive Eurozone data news this week and the implications this could have for ECB policy tightening, especially in the run-up to next Thursday’s meeting. The 1.2190-1.2210 area is resistance. US data features today (see below).

Last night’s Japanese data didn’t really reveal anything new. The core CPI y/y rate remained at +0.5%, below the market expectation of +0.6%, while labour market data was generally stronger than expected. The lack of fresh strength in the inflation data eliminates one possible source of renewed, interest rate fears in Japan and will be a supporting factor for higher risk or peripheral currencies. The labour market data is confirmation that the economic recovery is continuing to boost employment prospects. As employment rises, aggregate incomes will advance and this will support consumer spending, boosting the recovery further.

Australian retail sales and private sector credit again came out stronger than expected, which is another step in the direction of rebuilding RBA rate hike expectations, which have been dormant for many months. Gold ran into profit taking this morning, triggered by the ECB announcing that it had sold 57 tonnes of gold. However, this was in line with the current Central Bank Gold Agreement and they do not plan to sell any more in the year ending September 2006. Furthermore, if the market has already absorbed this transaction it shouldn’t be negative. With gold and other metal prices still broadly strong, the arguments continue to stack up in favour of a short-term bounce in the AUD. There is scope to the 0.7215-30 area today or Monday, while above there would see this extending to 0.7300. Support at 0.7110-20.

Day Ahead
US – personal income and expenditure, core PCE prices, Michigan sentiment, Chicago PMI and factory orders are due, with the main focus likely to be on core PCE prices and Michigan sentiment. A couple of weeks ago the core CPI came out weaker than expected so it will be interesting to see whether this has been reflected in the more significant core PCE prices measure. The market is expecting a soft +0.1% m/m outcome.

Canada – monthly GDP is the main data feature and this has remained fairly solid in recent months. Some decent economic data out of Canada would certainly promote some further stabilisation in the CAD after recent declines. Below 1.1570 on USD-CAD would allow a move towards the important 1.1500-15 area. Resistance is at 1.1650.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Personal income (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US PCE (Feb) m/m 08.30 0.0%
US Core PCE price index (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (Feb) y/y 08.30 +1.7%
CA GDP (Jan) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US Michigan sentiment (Mar, fin) 09.45 86.9
US Chicago PMI (Mar) 10.00 57.0
US Factory orders (Feb) m/m 10.00 +1.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP CPI Tokyo (Mar, core) y/y +0.2% +0.2%
JP CPI Nwide (Feb, core) y/y +0.5% +0.6%
JP Unemployment rate (Feb) 4.1% 4.4%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Feb) 1.04 1.04
JP Employment (Feb) +240k +270k last
JP PCE workers (Feb) y/y -1.5% -3.0% last
AU Retail trade (Feb) m/m +0.7% +0.3%
AU Private sector credit (Feb) m/m +1.4% +1.0%
AU Building approvals (Feb) m/m +2.2% +1.3%
JP Housing starts (Feb) y/y +13.7% +4.0%
DE Retail sales (Feb) m/m -0.6% -0.3%
FR Unemployment rate (Feb) 9.6% 9.6%
FR ILO job seekers (Feb) m/m -15k -7k
FR GDP (Q4, final) q/q +0.4% +0.2%
EU CPI (Mar, flash est) y/y +2.2% +2.2%
EU Econ sentiment (Mar) 103.5 102.8
EU Business climate index (Mar) 0.80 0.62
IT CPI (Mar, prel) y/y +2.1% +2.1%
GB Consumer confidence (Mar) -7 -4
* 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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