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Monday September 11, 2006 - 10:45:23 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD bounces back – failing to materialise on Friday’s break lower.
• JPY weakens after softer than expected orders data.
• Weak UK PPI hurts GBP.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has bounced back well this morning after slipping below the old range low (1.2695-1.2700) on Friday. Indeed, having survived an episode that was potentially very negative, one could argue that it now comes back even stronger. A wearing down of long EUR-USD positioning was the reason for the slippage last week rather than any improvement in USD vs EUR fundamentals. Of significance this week will be whether the main US releases have any dramatic bearing on Fed policy sentiment, with retail sales, CPI and Michigan sentiment featuring. Key today will be how the North American market responds to the turnaround in price action this morning.

Japanese data was again disappointing. The absence of an upward revision to Q2 GDP was a little surprising after the strength seen in last week’s Q2 capex data, while machinery orders dropped sharply (-16.7% m/m). The latter is a volatile series and as one can see from the chart, in terms of the underlying trend it is too early to write it off just yet. However, if the lower level of orders seen this month does happen to be maintained in the next couple of months the 3-mth average measure in the chart will come tumbling down, so this is something to keep an eye on.

The orders data weakened the JPY, lifting EUR-JPY above 148.50 and this set it up well for the European morning. 117.00 on USD-JPY has similar significance. However, it is not clear whether there will be enough momentum to take out recent highs. Positional considerations have improved but remain in place. As of last Tuesday IMM spec net short JPY positioning was at 69,498 contracts. This is around 20k lower than the previous week and also fails to take account of the liquidations that probably happened on Thursday, when the JPY was strong.

GBP was undermined by some softer than expected PPI data, with the core PPI output y/y rate falling back to +2.0% from +2.5% last time. This sent EUR-GBP higher, maintaining risk up to 0.6825-30. Developments on other key inflation indicators this week (CPI tomorrow, average earnings on Wednesday) will determine whether GBP can weaken further. The danger for GBP is that the market has been discounting another rate hike, so weaker data will carry more potency. CPI could become interesting in the months ahead. While the headline CPI (that the MPC targets) has remained relatively high close to +2.5% (+2.4% last month), the core CPI has been weak, last month falling to just +0.9% y/y. With oil prices currently in retreat and the UK gas regulator having indicated a few weeks ago that gas prices should not exhibit the strength witnessed last winter, the core measure may start to gain extra weight in discussions about future CPI trends. Contributions to y/y rates from key fuel and energy categories will become very negative if last year’s strength is not repeated (i.e. base effects). This should start to appear from September.

Day Ahead
Trichet speaks today in his capacity as G10 central bank spokesperson, although he is unlikely to say anything dramatic. The general message is likely to be that that the central banking community will continue to be watchful about the threat of inflation.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

EU G10 CBs BIS meeting – Trichet press conf approx 07.00
US Fed’s Minehan speaks 08.00
CA Housing starts (Jul) 08.15 +227k
TU Current account (Jul) from today -$1.8bn
US Fed’s Poole speaks on policy 11.45 +18%
JP Domestic CGPI (Aug) y/y 19.50 +3.4%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP GDP (Q2 2nd est) q/q +0.2% +0.3%
CN CPI (Aug) y/y +1.3% +1.3%
JP Machinery orders – core (Jul) m/m -16.7% -5.4%
FR Ind prod (Jul) m/m -1.3% +0.3%
FR Manu output (Jul) m/m -1.5% +0.5%
TR GDP (Q2) y/y +7.5% +7.0%
SE AMS Unemp rate (Aug, nsa) +4.6% 4.9%
NO CPI (Aug) y/y +1.9% +2.1%
NO CPIX (Aug) y/y +0.4% +0.6%
GB PPI input (Aug) m/m -1.2% -0.5%
GB PPI output (Aug) m/m 0.0% +0.2%
GB PPI output core (Aug) y/y +2.0% +2.5%
GB Global trade balance (Jul) -£6.3bn -£6.2bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Jul) -£4.3bn -£3.3bn
* 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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