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Wednesday July 12, 2006 - 10:34:12 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange - https://fx.mellon.com/

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FX Daily - Mellon Foreign Exchange

Key Points
• EUR-USD up a little but still stuck in range.
• Some near-term downside risk for the CAD.
• AUD looking better as rate hike prospects grow.
• UK labour, US trade, Canadian trade feature today,
• Australian employment/RBA’s Stevens tonight.


Market Outlook
The recovery in US equities off earlier lows helped EUR-USD higher, but it remains firmly stuck in the recent trading range (likewise with the majors in general). Risk appetites remain tentative and this will continue to support the USD. A firmer recovery in global equities would be the most preferable scenario for a recovery in risk appetites and EUR-USD and somewhat paradoxically this would be helped by any good news from the US earnings season (GE due Friday). In the meantime, the US trade deficit could exert an influence today (see below), while the market is still waiting to see what the BoJ does on Friday. Above 1.2780 today would prompt some uplift. The BoC yesterday stuck with the previous plan of leaving rates on hold and also offered a fair degree of satisfaction about how the current state of monetary would achieve the desired outcome on inflation. While it is evident that any further strength in the data could revive rate hikes at any time, for the time being a potential positive for the CAD has been undermined. This does open up some short-term vulnerability, especially with rate hike expectations on the rise in alternatives like the AUD, but overall CAD fundamentals (solid growth, high trade surplus, sound public finances) remain strong. The big question now is how much slippage there will be against the CAD in the very short-term and pivotal in this regard will be the 1.1290-1.1310 area (i.e. the top of the recent trading range) on USD-CAD. There is upside risk as long as it stays above there and it could run as high as 1.15-1.16 depending on other matters like general USD performance. However, any moves in this direction should ultimately be reversed. Canadian trade data is due today (see below) and could be influential. AUD-CAD needs to get above 0.8615 to continue the improvement seen since the end of last week and at least a test of this level looks likely over the next 24 hours or so. The AUD was helped further last night by the rise in consumer sentiment and as long as it remains above 0.7525 there is upside risk (see below for more on the AUD).

Day Ahead
UK – labour market data features in the UK and unemployment has been on the rise since Q3 last year. The market will also be interested in the average earnings number to gauge potential inflation pressure, especially after the stronger than expected core PPI output data reported on Monday. A steady earnings number seems the most likely outcome. US – the latest monthly trade data is due and this always carries market moving potential for the USD. Last month, the April deficit failed to bounce as high as the market had expected, coming in at $63.4bn after the $61.9bn and $62.7bn numbers seen in March and February, which were below the $64-$66.6bn range seen through Sep-05 to Jan-06.

Canada – the trade data is also due in Canada and of interest will be whether the weaker tone to exports (seen since the turn of the year) has continued. The BoC has noted this and it has clearly been a factor in their policy deliberations. In yesterday’s policy statement, when talking about economic prospects they said “The additional strength that has developed in domestic demand is expected to persist into next year, but this should be more than offset by a weaker outlook for net exports, owing primarily to the recent strength of the Canadian dollar.”

Diary
Data/event BST Consensus*
GB Claimant count (Jun) 09.30 +4.3k
GB Average earnings (May) 3m y/y 09.30 +4.0%
GB Earnings ex-bonuses (May) 3m y/y 09.30 +3.8%
US Trade balance (May) 13.30 -$65.0bn
CA Trade balance (May) 13.30 C$4.5bn
CA Exports (May) m/m 13.30 -2.3% last
CA Net portfolio balance (May) 13.30 -C$0.8bn last
JP Trade balance (May, sa) 00.50 ¥1.6trn
AU Employment (Jun) 02.30 +10k
AU Unemployment rate (Jun) 02.30 4.9%
AU RBA’s Stevens speaks on policy 03.30
Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 9) -10 -9 last
JP Domestic CGPI (Jun) y/y +3.3% +3.4%
AU Consumer sentiment (Jul) +3.5% -0.5% last
* Consensus unless stated

Australia – data on the labour market is due tonight and arrives on the heels of yesterday’s strong housing finance report and this morning’s rise in consumer sentiment. Employment has been fairly strong in recent months and any more evidence of this would further raise speculation about the possibility of an RBA rate hike in early August. The Q2 CPI data (due July 26) will also be key in shaping sentiment about the outcome of that meeting. RBA deputy governor Stevens is set to speak on policy tonight and should offer some insights into current RBA thinking. After the last move in May they subsequently offered a fairy relaxed view of inflation risks, but he may be more equivocal on this occasion, which would imply that all options are indeed open for the August meeting.

©2006, 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.

 

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