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Tuesday August 1, 2006 - 10:41:36 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD showing lack of direction ahead of key CB meetings – today’s US data will be influential. Upside favoured.
• AUD pulls back ahead of RBA rate outcome but latter should prove supportive.
• US ISM, core PCE prices, pending home sales due today – RBA & Australian retail sales tonight.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD continues to show a lack of direction, with many in the market still waiting to see the fallout from both this week’s ECB meeting and next week’s FOMC outcome. Today’s US data – core PCE prices, ISM and pending home sales – will influence sentiment on the latter (see below for preview).Support on EUR-USD is at 1.2660, while resistance is at 1.2780. Upside is favoured.

USD-JPY has failed to capitalise on the down move seen yesterday, but downside risk remains while it stays below 115.00-25. Support at 114.20. Paulson speaks today (see below).

The AUD has given up some ground overnight due to a combination of profit taking ahead of tonight’s RBA outcome and the naming of Stevens as successor to outgoing governor MacFarlane. However, there is no reason why the latter should be negative for markets. Tonight’s RBA outcome (see below for preview) should maintain support for the AUD. Support at 0.7600, resistance at 0.7680-0.7700.

This morning’s data showed some promising developments in the German labour market, although the market may want to see whether this sustained beyond the World Cup months. Unemployment fell 84k in July, while employment rose 63k in June after a revised +60k in May (originally +36k). PMIs in the Eurozone were fairly solid, while the UK version pulled back (53.8) from the strong rise to 55.1 seen in the previous month.

Day Ahead
US – there are a number of releases due, including the monthly core PCE price index, ISM manufacturing and pending home sales. There is some slight uncertainty over the outlook for core PCE prices after Friday’s quarterly data showed a number of back revisions, but the odds favour a soft outcome and this would offer support to an unchanged rate outcome at next week’s FOMC meeting. ISM will be watched closely to see whether the recent moderation has been maintained, while pending home sales are likely to remain fairly soft.

Paulson gives his debut speech as Treasury Secretary and the market will most likely focus on his comments regarding China. It seems likely that he will take a more comprehensive approach to prompting China, i.e. focusing on broad financial market/banking reform as well as exchange rate adjustment rather than just the latter. He is likely to call for the US to remain competitive and it will be interesting to see whether any mention of the USD and US current account deficit is made in this regard. However, he is unlikely to say anything unusual on this subject matter, not least because he will not want to mark his maiden speech by provoking major market movement. Whether he touches specifically on Japan could be an issue for the JPY.

Australia – the RBA look set to raise rates by 25bp tonight and key for markets will be what they signal about the future, specifically whether they try and downplay growing expectations about the possibility of a further hike in the next few months. Given the strength in many pieces of data, they are unlikely to rule anything out for the future and to this extent the AUD should retain good support. More detail will be provided in their quarterly Monetary Policy Statement due on Friday. Retail sales data is also due tonight and will also influence sentiment about policy and the AUD.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Challenger layoffs (Jul) 07.30 67k last
US Chain store sls (w/e Jul 29) w/w 07.45 +1.9% last
US Personal income (Jun) m/m 08.30 +0.6%
US PCE (Jun) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US Core PCE price index (Jun) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US Core PCE price index (Jun) y/y 08.30 +2.3%
US Redbook sls (w/e Jul 29) m/m 08.55 -2.4% last
US ISM manu (Jul) 10.00 53.5
US Pending home sales (Jun) m/m 10.00 -0.5%
US Treasury Sec Paulson speaks 10.00
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 30) 17.00 -11 last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 6.0%
JP Monetary base (Jul) y/y 19.50 -18.0%
AU Retail trade (Jun) m/m 21.30 +0.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
CN PMI manu (Jul) 52.4 54.1 last
AU Building approvals (Jun) m/m +1.6% +0.2%
GB N’wide house prices (Jul) m/m +0.8% +0.4%
SE PMI manu (Jul) 64.1 63.2 last
IT PMI manu (Jul) 56.1 57.1
DE Unemployment (Jul) -84k -30k
DE Employment (Jun) +63k +60kR last
FR PMI manu (Jul) 57.2 56.3
DE PMI manu (Jul) 58.9 59.0
EU PMI manu (Jul) 57.4 57.4
GB PMI manu (Jul) 53.8 54.5
EU Unemployment rate (Jun) 7.8% 7.9%
* 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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