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Tuesday May 30, 2006 - 10:26:03 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD weaker as market senses resurfacing of negative underlying sentiment.
• Strong Eurozone lending data adds to arguments in favour of more aggressive ECB tightening.
• US consumer confidence also due today.

Market Outlook

The USD has been generally weaker overnight, in part because of a report in The Times that Don Evans, a possible successor to Snow, would favour a weaker USD. The report was highly speculative, merely saying that those with an industrial or political background tended to favour a weaker USD. However, the initial USD weakness was also probably due in part to a sense that underlying negative USD sentiment would resurface with the holiday weekend out of the way.

Most of the EUR-USD upmove was seen before the release of strong Eurozone private sector lending data, which coupled with a reiteration of recent hawkishness from Liebscher, has focused attention on the possibility of a 50bp hike at next week’s ECB meeting. The private sector lending y/y rate is now at a new record high of +11.3% (see chart), clearly demonstrating that the current level of interest rates is too low and that a 50bp hike would be justified. However, current market volatility may lead the ECB lead to baulk at such a move. Higher ECB rate expectations are not universally negative for the USD. In isolation it is positive for EUR-USD and more upside testing could be seen today, but if leads to disruption in global markets (as witnessed in weaker European equities seen this morning) there could be some support for the USD. Key resistance on EUR-USD is at 1.2890-1.2920 ahead of 1.2970-1.3000, while key support remains at 1.2685.

Day Ahead
US – the Conference Board measure of consumer confidence is due and a much weaker outcome is likely compared to the previous month, which the market is expecting.

Australia – private sector credit growth is out tonight and appears after a strong run of numbers in recent months and strong retail sales data earlier today. Such developments, if repeated over the next couple of months, would suggest the need for further precautionary tightening from the RBA. The AUD is likely to be sensitive to such developments, but will also be influenced by commodity prices.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

CA Industrial PI (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
CA Raw materials PI (Apr) m/m 08.30 +2.0%
CA Current account (Q1) 08.30 C$8.5bn
US Consumer confidence (May) 10.00 101.0
US ABC consumer conf (w/e May 28) 17.00 -19 last
FR Unemployment rate (Apr) 18.00 9.5%
FR ILO job seekers (Apr) m/m 18.00 -12k
AU Private sector credit (Apr) m/m 21.30 +1.1%
AU Trade balance (Apr) 21.30 -A$1.4bn

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Retail sales (Apr) y/y -0.6% -0.5%
DE Consumer confidence (Jun) 6.8 5.5 last
SE Trade balance (Apr) SEK13.1bn SEK17.5bn last
SE Consumer confidence (May) 19.1 18.0
SE Manufacturing confidence (May) 2.0 4.0
EU Current account (Mar) -€3.2bn -€4.0bnR last
JP Unemployment rate (Apr) 4.1% 4.1%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Apr) 1.04 1.02
JP Overall PCE (Apr) y/y -2.0% -1.4%
JP Ind prod (Apr, prel) m/m +1.5% +1.8%
AU Retail sales (Apr) m/m +1.4% +0.3%
AU Building approvals (Apr) m/m -3.4% +1.0%
JP Small business confidence (May) 49.2 50.8 last
SE Retail sales (Apr) m/m +1.8% +0.3%
EU M3 (Apr) y/y +8.8% +8.6%
EU M3 (Apr) 3m y/y +8.4% +8.3%
EU Private sector lending (Apr) y/y +11.3% +10.8% last
* 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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