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Monday July 31, 2006 - 14:58:02 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD under pressure after softer US Q2 GDP data.
• IMM data showed the net short position in JPY rose to a new record for the week to July 25.
• Fed’s Poole and Yellen scheduled to speak today. Chicago PMI also due.
• Eurozone CPI for July came in at 2.5% as expected, confidence indicators came in slightly stronger.

Market Outlook

The EUR-USD consolidated below the key $1.2775 area in early European trading. A breach of this zone would leave the $1.2860 July 7 high vulnerable to approach, for probes towards the top of the range at $1.30. The $1.2740 level offers intra-day support, ahead of $1.27 and the pre-GDP $1.2660 low from Friday. Losses through there would be needed to leave USD bulls in the driving seat again – but that seems rather difficult at this juncture. At 2.5% the Q2 GDP data was at the lower end of the expected range, a steeper than expected pullback from the 5.6% reading seen in Q1. Previous rate hikes seem to be having the desired effect on housing (residential investment fell 6.3% in Q2) and consumer spending (PCE slowed to 2.5%) but the price measures, such as core PCE at 2.9% remained relatively high. That suggests that the June core PCE number (due on Tuesday) will come in at +0.2% m/m (barring any revisions to previous months).

The Eurozone “flash” CPI for July came in as expected at 2.5% and shouldn’t really affect expectations of a rate hike this week. The Eurozone business climate and economic sentiment indicators both came in stronger than expected, suggesting that the weakness in the Ifo may have been specific to Germany. Earlier in the session, German retail sales came in stronger than expected, kicked higher by the World Cup.

The IMM data showed that the net short position held by noncommercial or speculative accounts in JPY futures extended to a record 76,886 level as of July 25, which may be one of the reasons for the sharp pullback in the yen against the USD, the EUR and other cross-rates over recent sessions as overly long traders rushed to exit JPY shorts. USD-JPY extended lower in Asia trading but seemed to stabilise in early European trading above 114.25. There is little to prevent a test of the key 113.45 July 10 low. The domestic data was quite upbeat, with June industrial production reported up 1.9%, after a rise of 0.8% in Q2. METI forecast further strength going forward, predicting manufacturing output at 2.2% in July and a further 3.7% in August.

UK – The mortgage approvals data rose to 120,000, the highest level since January, after housing activity had shown signs of faltering. However, this was offset by the smallest rise in consumer credit since March at £0.81mln and the smallest increase in credit card spending since October 1994, up only £43mln. This is not too surprising given the timing of the World Cup, though it is quite a contrast with the retail sales numbers (up a robust 0.9% in June). Mixed data which should not have too much impact on the MPC this week.

Australia – Private sector credit came in on the strong side again in June, at 1.2%, slightly more than the 1.1% consensus, taking growth for the year to 14.2% in line with the strength since the turn of the year. Housing credit rose 1.4% on the month, up 13.3% yoy. This data will do nothing to deter the RBA from hiking rates on Wednesday. The AUD-USD is hovering near 0.7675-0.7700, with risk of a drive back to the 0.7800 zone over coming sessions, especially if the RBA’s statement on Wednesday is relatively hawkish. The USD seems to be trying to take back some lost ground intra-day but if 0.7650 gives way, the tougher 0.7600 zone should underpin the AUD.

Day Ahead
Canada – The monthly GDP data for May is expected, with the market expecting a 0.3% rise. This is not likely to have an impact on BoC policy expectations.

US – The Fed’s Poole speaks on China, with Yellen, voting President of the San Francisco Fed set to speak on the economy and monetary policy later in the session. She is known to be one of the more dovish FOMC members and a reiteration of the view that the Fed should at least pause its tightening process would not be a surprise. Chicago PMI is also due.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Fed’s Poole spks on China 08.10
CA GDP (May) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
TR Trade balance (Jun) 09.30 -$4.6bn
US Chicago PMI (Jul) 10.00 56.0
US Fed’s Yellen on econ & policy 11.45

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP PMI manu (Jul) 55.7 54.3 last
JP Ind prod (Jun, prel) m/m +1.9% +1.3%
AU Private sector credit (Jun) m/m +1.2% +1.1%
JP Housing starts (Jun) y/y +4.7% +6.5%
DE Retail sales (Jun) m/m +1.9% +1.0%
GB Consumer credit (Jun) +£0.81bn +£0.9bn
GB Mortgage approvals (Jun, sa) 120K 115k
EU CPI (Jul, flash est) y/y +2.5% +2.5%
EU Econ sentiment (Jul) 107.7 107.0
EU Business climate index (Jul) 1.37 1.30
* 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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