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Friday May 12, 2006 - 10:32:29 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD looks set for further weakness.
• Global market turbulence the main threat to positional disruption.
• US/Canadian trade data, Michigan sentiment feature.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s push above recent highs has set the scene for more EUR-USD gains in the short-term, with a move closer to 1.30 now likely ahead of 1.3150. There are a couple of threats to such a development, the first of which would be any countering comments from non-Japanese G7 officials, possibly concerned about the pace of the recent move. However, it seems unlikely that this will happen at current levels.

More significant could be volatility in global markets. US equities slid sharply yesterday and while this is currently just a minor reversal of recent gains, if it was to become more serious it could affect other high-risk assets like emerging markets and commodities and this could support the USD in two ways. First, by way of a return of emerging flows back in to the predominantly USD investor base and second, the impact that heightened levels of general uncertainty could have on positional appetite of any kind, including being short USDs. If this became really bad there may also be talk of problems on some positions (e.g. commodities) creating the need to close positions elsewhere e.g. USD shorts. However, this is all
theoretical for the time being
and until there is further evidence of such gross market turbulence materialising a weaker USD remains favoured in the short-term. The risk of more substantial USD weakness would present itself if natural potential hedgers like US asset holders and exporters to the US are spurred into action. Key features today include US trade and Michigan sentiment and while the focus will be on the trade numbers, the Michigan survey could be the bigger market mover (see below for preview).

Day Ahead
US – the monthly trade data for March appears today at a sensitive time for the USD. The deficit narrowed to $65.7bn in February from January’s record $68.6bn and the six month average for the deficit currently stands at $66.2bn. Overall, it is unlikely that one month’s worth of trade data is going to significantly change market perceptions about this particular aspect of USD fundamentals. However, the USD will be sensitive to any gross deviations from the market consensus of $67bn. Michigan sentiment is also due and after the weakness seen in the recent weekly consumer sentiment numbers there is downside risk on this data. If this materialises it would further boost expectations that June 29 will see no FOMC rate hike.
indeed, this could be the more likely market mover today.

Canada – trade data will be watched closely after the weak showings for exports seen over the past couple of months (Jan -3.8%, Feb -3.5%). Any further weakness would suggest a more challenging time for Canadian exporters and may start to eat into rate hike expectations.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Trade balance (Mar) 08.30 -$67.0bn
US Import prices (Apr, nsa) y/y 08.30 +4.5% last
US Imp prices ex-petrol (Apr, nsa) y/y 08.30 +1.1% last
CA Trade balance (Mar) 08.30 C$6.3bn
CA Exports (Mar) m/m 08.30 -3.5% last
US Michigan sentiment (Apr, prel) 09.45 86.5

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB NIESR GDP (3mths to Apr) q/q +0.6% +0.6% last
AU Housing finance (Mar) m/m +0.7% +0.5%
FR CPI (Apr, prel) y/y +1.7% +1.7%
FR Trade balance (Mar) €2.0bn €2.2bn
ES CPI (Apr) y/y +3.9% +3.9%
NO Unemployment rate (Feb, sa) 3.9% 3.8%
* 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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