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Tuesday September 12, 2006 - 10:31:23 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD delicately poised around six week lows.
• JPY remains soft but key levels could carry some weight with G8 still outstanding.
• However, G8 is unlikely to reveal anything new to the market.
• UK CPI boosts GBP.
• US/Canadian trade data due today – Australian consumer sentiment tonight.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD continues to trade cautiously and has so far been unable to build upon Friday’s break below the 6-week range low at 1.2695. Indeed, this suggests some underlying resilience in EUR-USD, as such a break was a potential trigger for position liquidation. This is a delicate situation and is essentially a standoff between medium-term fundamental arguments (still EURUSD positive) and short-term positional/technical considerations. A close above 1.2750 is needed to alleviate the immediate corrective pressure on the downside and market sentiment on the matter may remain open pending any unusual developments in key US data releases later this week. Trade data is due today.

The JPY has remained soft overnight with yesterday’s weak orders data having generated a turnaround in price action. The early move in EUR-JPY yesterday above 148.50 was positive in this regard, but so far resistance in the 149.70-150.00 area has been too tough. This was holding it last week before the big sell-off. With the USD generally stronger USD-JPY has been flexing more muscle, although 117.90 needs to break to keep this going. The market will probably remain a little cautious ahead of this weekend’s G8 meeting, although few fresh factors are likely to emerge from G8 to help the JPY.

GBP bounced back sharply after August CPI rose to +2.5% y/y from +2.4% last time, with the core rate rising to +1.1% from +0.9%. The market had anticipated the rise in the core rate, which merely takes back the decline seen in July, although headline CPI was a touch stronger than expected. The severity of the GBP reaction probably reflects some slight over-positioning from very short-term accounts over the past week, although the breakdown on CPI may also have alarmed some economists. The goods component of CPI rose to +2.2% y/y from +1.8% and is the highest since the series began in January 1997. The major contributors to the rise in the y/y rate to 2.5% on overall CPI were all from goods (furniture, household equipment, toys, computer games) as opposed to services and in all cases these categories are still exhibiting negative y/y growth rates individually. The reason for the positive contributions to headline CPI is that these negative y/y growth rates are not as negative as they were previously. This is also allowing the strength in other categories (notably food at +3.4% y/y) to have more impact on the total. There could be some fears about the possibility of fading deflation effects from China and this will make the market a little nervous about future CPI prospects. However, as we noted yesterday the news on fuel and energy is starting to improve so the November MPC decision will remain a close call. Tomorrow’s average earnings data will also be highly significant. First support on EUR-GBP is at 0.6780 and this may hold for now. Key will be whether the North American market builds further on this morning’s reaction.

Day Ahead
US – the trade deficit has been a lot more stable over the past couple of quarters, so an unusual number will be required to provoke a sharp USD response either way.

Canada – trade data is due with the BoC continuing to view net exports as a potential source of weakness for the economy going forward. Seasonally adjusted exports have risen by a cumulative 1.3% over the past couple of months, but this follows much weakness in prior months (the current level of exports is 9.1% below that seen in December).

Australia – consumer sentiment is out tonight and this could be a key factor with the market trying to gauge the likely impact of rate hikes on consumer spending. When the RBA raised rates in May, consumer sentiment fell 6.4% before recovering by around 3% in June/July. However, the August policy tightening prompted a 16.2% fall in sentiment (see chart) so the market will be keen to see how much the consumer has got over the initial shock of that second rate hike. August retail sales are not out until October 3. Tonight’s data will go some way in determining where the recent AUD sell-off will stop, although commodity prices (weak yesterday) will also be significant. At the current time we would look for good support in the 0.7450- 0.7500 area.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Sep 9) w/w 07.45 +0.3% last
US Trade balance (Jul) 08.30 -$65.4bn
CA Trade balance (Jul) 08.30 +C$5.0bn
CA New house prices (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.8%
US Redbook sls (w/e Sep 9) m/m 08.55 +0.0% last
US Fed’s Yellen spks on econ 15.00
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Sep 10) 17.00 -15 last
NZ Retail trade (Jul) m/m 18.45 +0.3%
JP Current account (Jul, sa) 19.50 ¥1.5trn
AU Consumer sentiment (Sep) m/m 20.30 -16.2% last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Domestic CGPI (Aug) y/y +3.4% +3.4%
CN Retail sales (Aug) y/y +13.8% +13.9%
JP Consumer confidence (Aug) 47.8 49.0
DE WPI (Aug) y/y +5.3% +4.6%
SE CPI (Aug) y/y +1.6% +1.6%
SE CPI UND1X (Aug) y/y +1.2% +1.3%
GB CPI (Aug) y/y +2.5% +2.4%
GB CPI core (Aug) y/y +1.1% +1.1%
GB RPIX (Aug) y/y +3.3% +3.2%
GB RPI (Aug) y/y +3.4% +3.4%
* 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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