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Wednesday July 26, 2006 - 10:54:55 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD steadies after yesterday’s burst of strength.
• Australian CPI supports RBA rate hike hopes and prospect of further AUD upside.
• Japanese export uptrend displays slight slowdown.
• German IFO softer but still showing optimism.
• Fed Beige Book, RBNZ rate announcement feature.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has steadied after the break below 1.2590-1.2605 and the key trigger (support) level to look at today will be 1.2560, which approximates the low from both yesterday and earlier this morning. Below there would leave some risk to the 1.2460-1.2500 area. The old support at 1.2590-1.2605 is now the area that needs to be won back to suggest some stabilisation and this is slightly favoured today. The Beige Book is due later and may exert an influence (see below).

Australian CPI came out on the strong side of expectations, clearing the way for a rate hike at next week’s meeting and increasing the risk of a further move before year-end. Headline CPI was much stronger than expected (+4.0%), the market sector measure of CPI was in line with expectations (+2.0%), while the RBA’s measure of core inflation was also stronger than expected (+2.8%). The AUD continues to look fairly good, despite the generally stronger USD and it has outperformed most other currencies in this regard. The move above 0.7570 has opened the way for further gains up towards 0.7650, although this may also depend upon the avoidance of further sharp downside on EUR-USD.

Japanese trade data revealed a slight slowing in the 18-mth uptrend in exports, although thus far it is fairly tentative (see chart). However, this is something that will be monitored closely by both the market and the authorities given growing expectations of slower global growth. If this theme starts to take shape it would be an additional constraint on BoJ tightening.

The German IFO softened due to a downturn in both current and expectations components, but overall it remains at a high level. Taking a look at the chart on the next page one will see that IFO expectations have not kept pace with the sharp drop experienced in the expectations component of the ZEW survey (of investors and analysts). Thus far the pessimism seems to be more in the mind of investors rather than actual businesses.

In the UK, the CBI manufacturing survey showed a slight softening in export order prospects (-6 from -3), although total orders stayed close to the levels seen in recent months. Output expectations (+14) remained at the higher levels seen in the previous month. The sustainability of the H106 improvement in the manufacturing sector is likely to be one of the main focal points for the MPC in coming months.

Day Ahead
US – there are no data releases scheduled but the Beige Book is released later in the day. The market is still uncertain about the outcome of the August 8 FOMC meeting, so the Beige Book will be closely watched to see how much price pressure/growth moderation is being observed. The Beige Book released before the last meeting did note some slowing in activity and also noted a slight increase in inflation signs. “High energy costs were fuelling price increases in manufacturing and, to a much lesser extent, retail. Reports of costs being passed forward varied considerably but were more prevalent than in the last Beige Book.

New Zealand – the RBNZ rate announcement is due tonight and this has been attracting more attention after the strength seen in Q2 CPI (+4.0% y/y), although a rate hike seems unlikely given other evidence of slowing in the economy. The RBNZ will likely state that current CPI strength merely adds to their existing position about there being little chance of any early easing in policy.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Beige Book for Aug 8 FOMC 14.00
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 17.00 7.25%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 23) -11 -9 last
NZ Trade balance (Jun) -NZ$214m -NZ$385m
JP Trade balance (Jun, sa) ¥612bn ¥627bn
JP CSPI (Jun) y/y -0.1% -0.1%
AU CPI (Q2) q/q +1.6% +1.0%
AU CPI (Q2) y/y +4.0% +3.4%
AU CPI mkt prices ex-volatile (Q2) y/y +2.0% +2.0%
AU CPI-RBA trimmed-mean (Q2) y/y +2.8% +2.6% last
SE Trade balance (Jun) SEK17.3bn SEK15.8bn
DE IFO index (Jul) 105.6 106.0
DE IFO current (Jul) 108.6 109.0
DE IFO expectations (Jul) 102.6 102.5
ZA CPI (Jun) y/y +4.9% +4.9%
ZA CPIX (Jun) y/y +4.8% +4.8%
* 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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