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Friday September 15, 2006 - 11:11:02 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• G8 and more US data awaited.
• JPY still finding support but not showing any great sign of recovery.
• Significant price action on EUR-CHF.
• NZD upside bias could be checked slightly ahead of next Thursday’s current account data.
• US CPI, NY Fed index and Michigan sentiment festure.

Market Outlook

The market is still generally waiting for more data news out of the US and the outcome of the weekend’s G8 meeting. Yesterday’s headline US retail sales number was stronger than expected, but sales ex-autos were weaker, especially after the downward revision (from +1.0% to +0.6%) to the previous month. The data failed to significantly affect Fed policy expectations. More data is due today (see below) and something unusual is needed to influence USD sentiment. EUR-USD has fallen back this morning on nothing in particular, reflecting the current lack of conviction about near-term direction.

EUR-CHF jumped sharply yesterday after the SNB failed to reveal anything fresh in their approach to monetary policy. This leaves it clear of recent ranges and at its highest level for over six years. Technically there is now room up towards 1.6175, although 1.5980-1.6000 could provide some initial resistance. 1.5880-1.5910 is now support ahead of the pivotal 1.5830 level.

The Japanese government’s monthly report offered mixed messages about the state of the economy. They maintained the view that the economy was recovering, but downgraded consumer spending after recent weakness. However, they said it was too early to determine whether this was temporary (due to weather) or the beginning of a trend. On prices, they dropped the word ‘deflation’ for the first time in five years but stopped short of formally declaring an end to deflation risk, merely noting that both the BoJ and the government would strive to secure the trend of price stability. The JPY is still supported by 149.70- 150.00 on EUR-JPY and 118.00 on USD-JPY, but is not showing much in the way of recovery. As long as these levels hold there is a risk of a pullback, although a lack of fresh factors from G8 at the weekend could easily expose the JPY to fresh weakness. Below 149.00 on EUR-JPY and 117.30 on USD-JPY would be positive short-term developments for the JPY.

The NZD has given up some of yesterday’s gains, with part of this down to general USD strength this morning, end-of-week profit taking and perhaps some acknowledgement about next Thursday’s NZ current account data. A fresh push higher could ultimately be seen, but a pullback of some sort could develop ahead of next Thursday’s quarterly current account data – often a negative for the NZD. 0.6535/60 is support.

Day Ahead
US – CPI, Michigan sentiment and the NY Fed index feature today and while they are unlikely to affect sentiment about next week’s FOMC outcome, any unusual strong or weak outcomes could have a bearing on medium-term policy sentiment. Last month’s softer core CPI reading helped trigger an easing in concern about inflation pressures and the market will be looking for this to be sustained in August. It is worth noting that even the +0.2% reading on last month’s core CPI was again boosted by owner equivalent rents. If the shelter category overall is taken out of the July core CPI calculation the m/m change falls back to +0.05%. On this basis, even a 0.3% outcome on core CPI, while likely to cause initial concern, should be examined closely to see what is causing it.

Michigan sentiment may have steadied after the recent fall in fuel prices, while the NY Fed index will be watched to see whether the headline index can recover from the 14 month lows recorded last month. The ‘prices received’ category will also be watched although this has been steady in recent months and down from the highs seen earlier in the year.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US CPI (Aug) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US CPI core (Aug) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US NY Fed index (Sep) 08.30 13.4
US Ind prod (Aug) m/m 09.15 +0.2%
US Capacity utilisation (Aug) 09.15 82.5%
US Michigan sentiment (Sep, prel) 09.45 84.0

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Tertiary index (Jul) m/m -0.2% 0.0%
CH Ind prod (Q2) y/y +4.3% +8.7%
NO Trade balance (Aug) NOK32.6bn NOK30.8bn
IT Ind prod (Jul) m/m -0.3% +0.6%
EU CPI (Aug) y/y +2.3% +2.3%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (Aug) y/y +1.5% +1.6%
EU Trade balance (Jul, sa) -€6.4bn -€1.8bn 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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