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Monday July 24, 2006 - 11:14:26 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Majors continue to exhibit limited direction amidst uncertainty over Lebanon and Aug 8 FOMC.
• US data will be watched closely this week.
• UK CBI retail sales ease a touch.
• Canadian retail sales feature – CAD softening.

Market Outlook

DEUR-USD has drifted lower after threatening to break higher on Friday, reflecting the lack of conviction in FX markets at the current time. There are many issues outstanding that are clouding the outlook for market participants, most notably the ongoing tension in the Middle East and the uncertainty about the outcome of the August 8 FOMC meeting. Such issues should continue to weigh on positional enthusiasm this week and next unless there are some clear signs in the US data. This week sees the release of consumer confidence, existing and new home sales, the Beige Book for the August 8 FOMC, durable orders, the 1st estimate of Q2 GDP/core PCE prices, the Q2 employment cost index and Michigan sentiment. There are no US releases of any major interest today. Support on EUR-USD is at 1.2590.

Israel said on Sunday it was preparing to back a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, but that a final decision had yet to be made. US Secretary of State Rice is now in the region and this may also aid optimism about a possible cease-fire. The reversal of last week’s oil price strength suggests that the market does not see the current conflict widening.

Latest IMM data showed net spec longs on EUR-USD narrowing to 51,694 contracts as of last Tuesday from 74,443 the previous Tuesday, which is not surprising given the break lower seen on the intervening Friday and Monday. However, with EUR-USD having been on the rise since Wednesday this positioning is unlikely to have altered too much since then and will pose some constraint on major upside moves.

In the UK, the CBI retail sales survey showed y/y sales growth slowing a touch in July, while retailers also downgraded their expectations for sales in August. The balance of those reporting higher y/y growth in sales volumes eased to +7 from +9 in June, while only 1% of those surveyed expected positive y/y sales growth in August. The market will remain undecided about the fate of sales now that the World Cup is over. As one would expect (given that the CBI balances relate to y/y performance) there is a fairly good directional relationship between smoothed measures of the CBI balance and the official retail sales y/y number (see chart).

Day Ahead
Canada – June retail sales are due in Canada and this data has been showing a fair amount of strength in 2006. This has been acknowledged by the BoC, but their baseline view is that such strength will be increasingly offset by weakness in net exports, so another strong number for June will not necessarily equate to any major increase in policy tightening appetite. Last week’s softer than expected CPI data has introduced some near-term vulnerability to the CAD and there will be upside risk on USDCAD to 1.1525-50 if 1.1410-plus levels can hold through the morning. AUD-CAD is approaching key resistance at 0.8610 – a break above there would leave risk to 0.8740-0.8825.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

DE CPI states (Jul, prel) m/m from today +0.4%
CA Retail sales (May) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
CA Retail sales ex-autos (May) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
BE Business confidence (Jul) 09.00 6.7

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU PPI (Q2) q/q +1.6% +1.1%
EU Manu orders (May) m/m +2.3% -0.2%
GB CBI retail trades survey (Jul) +7 +9 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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