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Tuesday September 5, 2006 - 11:03:14 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• JPY remains in the ascendancy as liquidation pressure grows.
• NZD the major casualty of JPY strength.
• NOK facing a potentially hazardous week.
• EUR-GBP stabilising.
• Australian GDP and RBA tonight.

Market Outlook

The JPY remains the main focal point with the positional adjustment seen yesterday having extended overnight. There is a clear danger of some more of this ahead of Friday’s BoJ announcement and key in this regard will be whether EUR-JPY can stay above the short-term support area at 148.00-50 – a similar area exists on USD-JPY from 115.25-75.

Significant for overall JPY sentiment this week will be the BoJ meeting and monthly report on Friday and the comments that Fukui is due to make after those releases. Since the CPI data was released on August 25 the BoJ has been remarkably quiet, in part reflecting the confusion felt over the unexpected weakness of the CPI revisions. Their take on the situation is therefore keenly awaited, although it seems likely that they will be leaving all their options open, depending upon how the data develops. They are likely to suggest that the economic recovery and the broader move out of deflation remain intact, but that they will continue to monitor the situation.

This is unlikely to provide any clarity on the outlook for interest rates and the market as well will be watching key data releases over the next month or so. Some stronger data (especially CPI) is required to shore up JPY sentiment from the interest rate bangle and until this happens sentiment will remain generally negative. However, as noted above, positional considerations have to be taken into account and this could see some further corrective activity in the short-term. The G7 meeting (due midmonth) may also raise some anxiety about the risk of a reintroduction of arguments about USD-Asia and current account considerations.

EUR-USD has been quiet this week. PMI services was a touch weaker this morning, but not sufficiently so to alter market perceptions about ECB policy. There is little in the way of important data this week (Beige Book, non-manufacturing ISM and final estimates for Q2 unit labour costs/productivity are the only US releases of any great interest), so it is difficult to see a way out of the range at the present time. From a medium-term perspective the risk remains for a weaker USD, but in terms of positioning, short-term risk is perhaps in the other direction.

With the JPY in the ascendancy, the NZD (a recent beneficiary of JPY weakness) has been the major casualty, aided in part by a reminder from S&P about the problem of its current account deficit. Sentiment towards the NZD is likely to remain volatile in the short-term, but there would be downside risk if the JPY can advance further and NZD-USD breaks below 0.6440-50. In the current circumstances, NZD-JPY is worth monitoring and this cross, having been as high as 77.12 as recently as Friday, has now moved back to 74.80. 74.80-75.00 was the initial breakout point seen at the beginning of last week. Below 73.75 is needed to kill the move completely.

EUR-GBP has been steadier this week after having survived the test of key support at 0.6700-25 last week. Momentum behind the recent downmove has faded and there would be a clear risk of a further recovery if the 0.6760-70 area can be overcome today, leaving risk up to 0.6800-20. PMI services were weaker in the UK this morning (lowest since November 2005), while y/y sales growth was also down from last month according to the BRC (see Diary).

Norwegian GDP for Q2 was fairly solid, with non-oil growth at +1.1% q/q. This was in line with market expectations and has failed to correct the damage inflicted on the NOK in recent days. The initial damage was done via the EUR-NOK break of 8.00 in August and Friday’s move through 8.1150 was a further blow. It is now imperative that EUR-NOK stays below 8.1635 (Jan 06 high), otherwise further technical buying of the cross would materialise. Overall, there is every chance of EUR-NOK eventually moving back below 8.00 and this remains our core view, but it could be a potentially hazardous week. Back 8.1150 would be a step in the right direction in terms of rebuilding some confidence.

Day Ahead
Australia – the RBA look set to leave rates unchanged tonight(no statement) while Q2 GDP is also out. There was some excitement yesterday over the very sharp 8.3% m/m rise in building approvals, although this data can be volatile. The rest of the week’s data (employment due Thursday as well as tonight’s GDP) will need to be odd to alter market expectations about another rate rise before year-end. 0.7700-20 should remain decent resistance for now on the AUD, although eventually further gains are likely.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Challenger layoffs (Aug) 07.30 37k last
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Sep 3) 17.00 -19 last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 6.0%
AU GDP (Q2) q/q 21.30 +0.9%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
CH CPI (Aug) y/y +1.5% +1.5%
ES PMI services (Aug) 55.9 54.1 last
IT PMI services (Aug) 57.6 58.2
FR PMI services (Aug) 61.3 60.5
DE PMI services (Aug) 54.3 55.9
EU PMI services (Aug) 57.1 57.5
NO GDP – total (Q2) q/q +0.5% +0.7%
NO GDP – mainland (Q2) q/q +1.1% +1.1%
GB PMI services (Aug) 56.7 57.5
EU Retail sales (Jul) m/m +0.6% -0.3%
GB BRC retail survey (Aug) y/y +2.5% +3.4% 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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