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Wednesday September 13, 2006 - 10:55:00 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• JPY remains soft but unable to break through key levels.
• Caution persists ahead of G8, but sentiment about the latter may be influenced by Paulson speech today.
• USD will also be influenced by key data due tomorrow and Friday.
• Australian consumer sentiment rises, but AUD still fazed by commodity price background – significant AUD support in 0.7440-80 area.
• UK wage data weaker than expected.
• RBNZ outcome tonight.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD is still struggling for direction with 1.2650-1.2740 the range that now needs to break to offer some bias. A speech by Paulson (see below) will be watched today ahead of G8, while the tone of key US data releases over the next couple of days (retail sales tomorrow, CPI, Michigan sentiment and NY Fed index Friday) will also be significant. The overriding focus on interest rate issues was made clear yesterday by the USD’s inability to really react to the worse than expected trade data.

The JPY has had moments of weakness overnight, but has been unable to break through key technical levels. EUR-JPY remains contained by the 149.70-150.00 area, while USD-JPY briefly took out 117.90 to touch 118.13 late yesterday, but this was short-lived. USD-JPY is looking more threatening than EUR-JPY, although US data this week may have an influence and the market is likely to remain cautious ahead of the weekend G8 meeting. As noted above, Paulson ‘s speech today may influence sentiment on G8.

Paulson speaks today in what is essentially a pre-amble to the weekend’s G8 finance ministers meeting. There have been some whispers in markets that the US (under Paulson) may be in the process of adopting a strong USD policy with more meaning than his Treasury predecessors in the Bush Administration. So far, Paulson has not really said anything controversial on this issue, last Friday reiterating the standard US view favouring “a strong USD set in open markets”. The market will be on the lookout for any subtle changes in today’s speech and during the weekend G8 meeting.

After gaining yesterday on the back of a stronger than expected CPI report, GBP was unsettled slightly this morning following the publication of weaker than expected average earnings. Wage growth has been identified by the MPC as a potential threat to the medium-term outlook for CPI after data in recent months had shown an uptick in key y/y rates on earnings, especially those in the private sector. However, this was reversed in large part by this morning’s data (see chart). The claimant count actually fell last month, as leaked by PM Blair yesterday, although the ILO measure continues to rise. Key today for EUR-GBP is whether it can hold on to support at 0.6760, in which case a bounce should be seen.

There was a sharp 12.5% m/m rebound in Australian consumer sentiment, reversing some of the 16.2% drop seen in the immediate aftermath of the August rate hike. The AUD rallied briefly after the release of the data, but this was quickly reversed for while given the fragile commodity price background – both gold and copper were soft in Asia. The AUD is now close to what is potentially a key technical support area at 0.7440-90, which includes a couple of Fibonacci levels and a potential trendline. This is favoured to hold, although there could be some nervous moments with support on Gold not really arriving until the 540-560 area.

Day Ahead
New Zealand – the RBNZ meeting (announcement tonight) is likely to see another unchanged rate outcome and steady outlook for policy – generally expected by the market. The main focus will be on whether they mention the exchange rate after the brief burst of NZD strength over the past few weeks.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

CA Productivity (Q2) q/q 08.30 0.0%
SE Riksbank’s Persson spks on econ 09.00
US Treas Sec Paulson speaks on intl economy 11.00
US Federal budget (Aug) 14.00 -$65bn
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 17.00 7.25%
GB RICS house prices (Aug) 19.30 +32%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Sep 10) -13 -15 last
NZ Retail trade (Jul) m/m +0.5% +0.3%
JP Current account (Jul, sa) ¥1.7trn ¥1.5trn
AU Consumer sentiment (Sep) m/m +12.5% -16.2% last
JP Ind prod (Jul, final) m/m -0.9% -0.9%
FR CPI (Aug, prel) y/y +1.9% +1.9%
GB Claimant count (Aug) -3.9k +4.0k
GB Average earnings (Jul) 3m y/y +4.4% +4.6%
GB Earnings ex-bonuses (Jul) 3m y/y +3.7% +3.9%
* 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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