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Tuesday August 29, 2006 - 10:28:58 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD still stuck in recent range.
• US consumer confidence and FOMC minutes key today.
• JPY steadier ahead of key levels.
• For now the market will likely cling on to the possibility of a further BoJ rate hike before yearend.

Market Outlook

Old ranges are still being tracked on the majors, with few fresh factors having emerged since last week. Yesterday’s Eurozone M3 data was slightly weaker than expected, but private sector lending y/y growth remained strong at 11.1%. Arguments in favour of an October ECB rate hike remain intact. US consumer confidence data and FOMC minutes feature today although once again it will take something unusual to shift underlying sentiment. There is some downside risk on the confidence number (see below). 1.2700 to 1.2950/1.3000 remains the range on EUR-USD.

The JPY remains fairly soft in the wake of Friday’s weaker than expected CPI, although the government are continuing to play down the data, no doubt because of the desire to avoid promoting deflation fears afresh. Also, yesterday the government released data on the so-called output gap, which was +0.2% in Q2, the third quarter in succession that demand has exceeded potential supply. This will also back up arguments about eventual higher prices and the possibility of the government formally announcing the end of deflation in its September monthly report. However, the evidence on genuine price generation remains wafer thin.

The BoJ has yet to say anything but it will be difficult for them to raise rates unless CPI y/y rates start to tick higher. In the meantime, the market will likely cling on to the possibility of a 25bp move by year-end, but data developments (and BoJ comments when they finally appear) will be significant. The JPY is a little steadier and sentiment is likely to remain cautious while key levels remain intact. Market positioning is already strongly against the JPY, with IMM spec net shorts (JPY against USD) up at a chunky 75,077 contracts last Tuesday from 62,274. As positioning also favours the EUR over the USD the implication is that the market is very long of EURJPY. Closes above 150.00 on EUR-JPY and/or 118.00 on USDJPY are therefore needed to suggest there is sufficient momentum to keep this move going in the short-term, without some prior corrective or consolidation activity. Supports are at 148.10-50 and 116.25 and any breaks would suggest some corrective activity.

Day Ahead
US – consumer confidence and FOMC minutes are released vtoday. There is some downside risk on the Conference Board measure of confidence after the mid-month dip reported in the Michigan survey (the latter falling to 78.7 from 84.7). The minutes will be examined to see how much Lacker’s desire for a rate hike drew sympathy from other voting members. Indeed, did others agree to a pause on the basis that rates could be raised at one of the next couple of meetings? Other things to look out for will be any expressions of confidence or otherwise about the likelihood of inflation easing back. Overall, the impression is likely to be similar to that created thus far, that all options remain open and will be dependent on the data.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Aug 26) w/w 07.45 -0.2% last
US Redbook sls (w/e Aug 26) m/m 08.55 +0.3% last
NZ Business confidence (Aug) 09.00 -31.1 last
US Consumer confidence (Aug) 10.00 102.5
US Fed’s Fisher speaks 13.00
US Minutes of Aug 8 FOMC 14.00
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Aug 27) 17.00 -14 last
JP Retail sales (Jul) y/y 19.50 +0.4%
AU Retail trade (Jul) m/m 21.30 +0.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
EU M3 (Jul) y/y +7.8% +8.2%
EU M3 (Jul) 3m y/y +8.3% +8.5%
EU Private sector lending (Jul) y/y +11.1% +11.0% last
JP Unemployment rate (Jul) 4.1% 4.1%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Jul) 1.09 1.09
JP Overall PCE (Jul) y/y -1.3% -1.0%
DE Consumer confidence (Sep) 8.6 8.5
IT Consumer confidence (Aug) 108.0 108.5
SE Retail sales (Jul) m/m -0.1% -0.3%
* 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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