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Wednesday June 7, 2006 - 10:37:44 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Heightened uncertainty about Fed and ECB could weigh on EUR-USD further at some point today, but range lows will offer very good support.
• A 50bp ECB rate hike tomorrow remains the most likely outcome, although EUR-USD may still struggle to make a sustained break above 1.30.
• Such an ECB move would lead to more uncertainty for global markets.

Market Outlook

Uncertainty remains high in global markets following recent Fed comments, which appear to be attaching more weight than the market had expected to evidence of a short-term rise in inflation. Previously, Bernanke had appeared to suggest that they would tolerate such a development as long as the prospects for medium-term inflation control i.e. growth moderation, remained in place. Indeed, just to confuse the
issue, Bernanke also said on Monday that recent evidence did in fact support the case for growth moderation. In addition to this the market is also nervous about what the ECB will do tomorrow. This is a close call – do they go with their instincts in terms of what the monetary and CPI data is telling them and raise rates by 50bp or do they go for the softer option of 25bp? The latter leaves complications as to how they proceed from here, especially as they have been advancing a much more aggressive message since the last meeting. A 50bp rate hike remains the most likely outcome.

In this environment, further EUR-USD slippage could be seen today (position liquidation), although it should manage to stay well above support at the bottom end of the current trading range at 1.2685-1.2725. If the ECB does announce a 50bp move tomorrow a EUR-USD rally is likely to be the initial response, although as pointed out in our recent Forecast Update (see document for more details), such an ECB move cannot be viewed in isolation. In terms of the uncertainty a 50bp ECB hike will generate for global markets, it could actually prompt flows out of emerging markets and back into the USD investor base (i.e. USD supportive). The current environment is not one that is conducive to big directional trends on the majors.

Swedish Q1 GDP was a sold looking +1.1%, in line with market expectations, supporting the firmer Riksbank rate expectations seen over the past week or so. However, for the time being we are sceptical about whether the recent move on EUR-SEK will turn into a permanent breakout of the recent range. If the ECB does move aggressively tomorrow, EUR-SEK could easily move up above 9.25-9.28 and back into the old trading range.

Day Ahead
US - somewhat unusually given that he is no longer in public office, Greenspan testifies today on oil and economic risk in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It seems unlikely that he will cover key issues in a manner that could embarrass the current FOMC. Atlanta Fed governor Guynn also speaks.

Japan – money data is due tonight and there should be a further recovery in the growth rate of bank lending. This will provide ongoing support for expectations about a modest adjustment in BoJ rates over coming months.

Australia – labour market data comes after last night’s solid looking GDP report. Any strength will bolster the case for a further RBA rate rise at the end of the summer, although the market is probably focused on other things for the time being i.e. general uncertainty in global markets and this is not conducive to AUD strength.

New Zealand – unchanged rates and a message of unchanged rates in the future seems likely from the RBNZ tonight.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Greenspan testifies on oil & economic risk 10.00
US Fed’s Guynn on econ and housing 12.30
US Consumer credit (Apr) 15.00 +$3.5bn
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 17.00 7.25%
JP M2 plus CDs (May) y/y 19.50 +1.8%
JP Bank lending (May) y/y 19.50 +1.3%
AU Employment (May) 21.30 +12.5k
AU Unemployment rate (May) 21.30 5.1%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jun 4) -17 -17 last
AU RBA rate announcement 5.75% 5.75%
AU GDP (Q1) q/q +0.9% +0.8%
SE GDP (Q1) q/q +1.1% +1.1%
EU Retail sales (Apr) m/m +1.4% +1.1%
* 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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