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Tuesday April 11, 2006 - 17:28:23 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• BoJ left policy unchanged as expected…
• UK’s BRC retail survey was disappointingly weak, and the trade deficit reached £6.478bn.
• The German ZEW survey came in softer than expected, EUR-USD ran into sellers at 1.2140.
• Canadian housing data also scheduled for release…

Market Outlook

The USD consolidated in London trading, with the EUR-USD running into sellers above 1.2140. The 1.2075 level marks support now. Losses through there would leave the EUR vulnerable to a challenge on the 1.2035 April 3 spike low and even the 1.1980-1.1950 zone – though the EUR should be reasonably well supported there if reached. The German ZEW survey came in softer at 62.7, below the 65.5 consensus reading and down from March’s 63.4 level – the third setback in a row. The ZEW said that expectations have stabilised at a high level and that the outlook for exports remains positive and that they still expect the ECB to hike rates. However, they noted that weakness in the US real estate market could be a downside risk for exports… It will be interesting to see if the IFO survey shows a similar dip in the headline number on April 25. Bear in mind that last month the March ZEW number was softer but the March IFO survey came in stronger anyway… In fact the IFO hit a 15-year high, clearly exceeding the 2000 heyday levels, while the ZEW number is still languishing well below the all-time high of 89.6 seen in Jan 2000.

GBP-USD slipped below 1.74 in the wake of the disappointing UK trade data, but has since rebounded back to the 1.7435 zone, still trading in a range between 1.7460 and 1.7500 short term. The trade deficit unexpectedly reached £6.478bn, well above the £5.75bn forecast. January’s trade gap was revised up £800mn to £6.538bn, which the ONS was due to late data on oil trade and ongoing difficulties estimating export-import related VAT fraud. The UK became a net exporter of oil again in February, by a meagre £86mn but January's deficit in oil was revised up to £430mn. Overnight, the BRC said that same store sales fell 1.4% in March. Total sales rose 1.6%, sharply lower from February’s 3.5% increase. Very soft but the numbers are heavily distorted by the late timing of Easter and should probably be taken with the April numbers to give a truer picture.

Sweden – March CPI did increase slightly, with the y/y core number rising to 1.2%, as expected that was due to rises in clothing and energy prices (after a cold snap led to a surge in demand). That is more or less in line with the Riksbank’s view that core inflation will range between 0.6-1.1% this year, before climbing steadily in 2007 and 2008 towards 2%. The next meeting is on April 27 but the market is not expecting rates to be hiked until June. The data helped the SEK to firm versus the EUR, though the 9.30 area is likely to prove “sticky” on initial attempt. Potential for a drive through there later towards 9.25.

The BoJ left rates unchanged at around zero overnight, though some modest rate adjustments are likely later in the year this will probably have to wait until September/October. Until then the JPY is unlikely to garner much support from a re-rating of its yield status and should remain the carry funding currency of choice. For now, USD-JPY remains mired in a wide 115.50- 119.40 range, with the top of the range in view. Keep an eye on the 119-119.40 area as traders seem to be positioned for the JPY to rebound strongly and a lot of stops are likely to be lined up above the top of the range. Elsewhere, the MAS surprised the market by deciding against tightening policy in favour of supporting economic growth, retaining its stance of “modest and gradual” appreciation of the SGD. The announcement catapulted USD-SGD from 1.6045 to 1.6110 and this pullback looks set to extend. Next resistance is noted at 1.62.

Day Ahead
US – just the usual weekly sales report and the ABC consumer confidence survey to look forward to today. Unlikely to be market-moving.

Canada – new house prices report due.


Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Unemployment rate (Mar, nsa) 07.00 4.9%
US Chain store sls (w/e Apr 8) w/w 07.45 0.0% last
CA New house prices (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US Redbook sls (w/e Apr 8) m/m 08.55 -3.2% last
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Apr 9) 17.00 -9 last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB BRC retail survey (Mar) y/y -1.4% +0.6% last
JP BoJ policy announcement
JP BoJ monthly report
SE CPI (Mar) y/y +1.1% +1.0%
SE CPI UND1X (Mar) y/y +1.2% +1.1%
GB Global trade balance (Feb) -£6.478bn -£5.75bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Feb) £3.356bn -£3.4bn
EU ZEW expectations (Apr) 58.7 63.0
DE ZEW expectations (Apr) 62.7 65.5
* 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.
Ian Gunner 44 20 7163 5996 06.40 EDT Monday May 31 2005


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