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Thursday July 27, 2006 - 10:34:13 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD weakens following soft Beige Book, which boosts hopes of unchanged rates on August 8.
• AUD strength set to extend further – RBA statement rather than rate hike now in focus.
• US durable orders and new home sales due today – Japanese labour data and CPI out tonight.

Market Outlook

A fairly soft reading on the Beige Book has continued to weigh on the USD through the Asian session. EUR-USD was already in the ascendancy earlier in the US session, having broken back above 1.2605, in part perhaps because of fears about such an outcome on the Beige Book.

The latter noted that while the economy grew in June through mid-July, it did so at a slower pace, while the housing market continued to cool. There was also a general lack of reference to price pressures. The report noted scattered evidence about manufacturers and retailers having an extra ability to pass on higher costs into final prices, but also said that competition was holding prices down. The report concluded that net increases in wages and the price of goods and services remained modest. As with the Bernanke testimony this is yet another instance of the Fed adopting a presentational style aimed at avoiding any alarm on inflation and it significantly increases the risk of them leaving rates on hold on Aug 8 to extend this message further.

Further EUR-USD gains could be seen today, although with the markets generally lacking conviction at the present time, this may stall around 1.2775. The EUR has been at the forefront of the move against the USD. 1.8600 needs to break on cable to introduce some independent impetus to GBP, while 115.75 carries significance for USD-JPY.

The weaker USD tone has also helped the AUD and this should extend closer to 0.7650 resistance in the short-term. Next week’s RBA rate hike is already in the market and the main focus of next week’s meeting will be whether the RBA seeks to downplay growing expectations of a further hike in coming months. If they do not the AUD could extend even further.

Day Ahead
US – durable orders and new home sales are both released and the market will be looking for more signs of housing market retrenchment and general growth moderation. Durable orders have generally been showing resilience so far and some softer numbers are overdue. New home sales are extremely erratic, but the overall downtrend in housing looks well established and a fall in sales (possibly a sharp one) looks likely today after the rebound seen in recent months.

Japan – CPI and labour market data are due and while there will be some interest in whether labour demand and employment has expanded any further, the main focus will be on the CPI data. Last month saw the core CPI (excluding fresh foods) rising to +0.6% y/y from +0.5%, although an alternative core measure (ex-food and energy) provided by the government slipped to +0.1% y/y from +0.2%. The status of these numbers will be important going into the next monthly release on August 25, as that will bring along wholesale revisions to the indices, (rebasing and reweighting) that could push the y/y rates lower.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Consumer confidence (Jul) 08.30 16.0
SE Unemployment rate (Jun, nsa) 08.30 6.0%
US Durable orders (Jun) m/m 13.30 +2.0%
US Durables ex-transport (Jun) m/m 13.30 +0.7%
US Initial claims (w/e Jul 22) 13.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Jul 15) 13.30 2505k last
US New home sales (Jun) 15.00 1164k
FR Unemployment rate (Jun) 23.00 9.1%
FR ILO job seekers (Jun) m/m 23.00 -25k
JP CPI Tokyo (Jul, core) y/y 00.30 +0.4%
JP CPI Nwide (Jun, core) y/y 00.30 +0.6%
JP CPI ex-food & energy (Jun) y/y 00.30 +0.1% last
JP Unemployment rate (Jun) 00.30 4.0%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Jun) 00.30 1.08
JP Employment (Jun) 00.30 +270k last
JP Overall PCE (Jun) y/y 00.30 -2.0%
JP Retail sales (Jun) y/y 00.50 +0.1%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 7.25% 7.25%
DE Consumer confidence (Aug) 8.6 7.8 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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