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Thursday August 17, 2006 - 12:13:26 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD extends losses in early European trading …
• US Philly Fed key today, leading indicators also due.
• UK retail sales were weaker than expected on softer demand for electrical goods.
• Eurozone July HICP came in slightly weaker at 2.4% y/y, should not be enough to sway rate hike expectations.

Market Outlook

The EUR-USD pushed higher in early European trading, extending the weakness seen on Wednesday in the wake of the CPI report, with the $1.2910 highs looking vulnerable to a retest. For choice, the $1.2910 level should remain tough to crack. If breached, the $1.2980-$1.30 zone would be back in the spotlight. The $1.2835-00 area offers support now, ahead of Wednesday’s $1.2770 low.

US Core CPI rose only 0.2% m/m, after rising at 0.3% for four consecutive months. Headline CPI rose 0.4% m/m, though that still leaves core CPI running at 2.7% y/y still well above the Fed’s “comfort level”. The weaker than expected housing starts (-2.5% to 1795k, from 1841k in June) also weighed. The softer than expected industrial production, (0.4%, down from 0.8% in June). Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher spoke. He was fairly hawkish, noting that that inflation is still the greatest risk to the economy and that the Fed will not hesitate to hike again if the data shows it is necessary. But "that doesn't mean we need to take a sledgehammer to the economy." He expects Q2 US GDP to be revised up to 3% from 2.5%, and that Q3 growth will be similar. However, he noted that US housing market is in the midst of a correction notable for its "suddenness and depth" that, which along with high energy prices and higher interest rates, is "definitely having an impact on the consumer." Fisher is not an FOMC voting member in 2006.

GBP-USD sold off following weaker than expected July retail sales, slipping back towards 1.8950, from above 1.90 in early London trading. Key support at 1.8840 still looks well insulated though, given the weakness of the USD elsewhere. EUR-GBP extended recent gains, bringing the 0.6800-10 area into the firing line on the topside. That region could be tough to regain but if breached would threaten 0.6865-75. July retail sales fell 0.3%, against forecasts of a rise in 0.2%, taking the y/y rise to 4%. The World Cup seems to have affected electrical goods sales, having received a boost before the competition. The rise in the 3-months to July was 3.9%, the strongest since December 2004, which puts the monthly decline in context. In addition, the August MPC minutes did note that “an easing in consumer demand compared with Q2 would be consistent with some of the more recent indicators”, suggesting that the weaker report will not be a big surprise to the BoE.

Eurozone – July HICP came in below expectations at 2.4%, slightly below forecasts of 2.5%. Core inflation rose 1.6% y/y, edging slightly higher from 1.5% in June. However, this small dip is unlikely to sway market expectations of another two rate hikes before year-end. June industrial production slipped 0.1%, in line with expectations, rising 4.3% y/y, suggesting that the Q2 GDP rise of 0.9% q/q will not be revised down.

Day Ahead
US – the Philly Fed index is expected to rebound modestly, after the pullback to 6.0 in July. Bear in mind though that the NY Fed index was softer than expected. Of interest today will be the showing on the ‘prices received’ category, a measure of prices of goods as they leave the factory gate as opposed to the more volatile input prices (‘prices paid’) that feature in the ISM survey. The index of leading indicators for July is also due and is likely to have risen 0.1% in July, as with the positive impact of a rising money supply and a longer factory workweek offsetting an uptick in initial claims. At the same time, the CBO is due to release its Summer Update to the 2006 U.S. Budget and Economic Outlook.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Initial claims (w/e Aug 12) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Aug 5) 08.30 2480k last
US Lead indicators (July) m/m 10.00 +0.1%
US Philly Fed index (Aug) 12.00 8.0
AU RBA Governor Macfarlane spks

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU RBA July Bulletin
SE Riksbank Dep. Gov. Srejber spks
GB Retail sales (July) m/m -0.3% +0.2%
EU CPI (July) y/y +2.4% +2.5%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (July) y/y +1.6% +1.5%
EU Ind prod (June) m/m -0.1% -0.1%
* 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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