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Wednesday September 20, 2006 - 14:39:42 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Mellon FX Daily - European Edition

Key Points
• JPY still being aided by positional pressures.
• EUR-GBP yet again facing up to support at 0.6705- 20.
• NZD eases back ahead of current account data.
• UK MPC minutes and mortgage lending, FOMC outcome feature.

Market Outlook

The JPY has been firm overnight, with yesterday’s remarks by a European official about the weekend message on EUR-JPY weighing on existing positioning. The coup in Thailand caused some JPY weakness initially yesterday but this has been shrugged off overnight. In terms of the overall JPY trend, at least with regard to relative interest rates, the outlook remains shaky for the next few months. However, positional considerations remain significant and there is a risk of a sharper pullback (i.e. JPY strength) in the very short-term. Key for EURJPY (where exposure is the greatest) is the 148.20 level ahead of the September 8 low at 147.57. Below 148.20 would suggest that 147.57 is at risk and a move below there would leave it open towards 146.00. However, we would see this as being purely corrective. It will be difficult for European or Japanese nofficials to back up their words with any actions.

EUR-USD continues to show a limited amount of direction, with key resistance up around 1.2740-50 and support at 1.2630.

EUR-GBP is once again approaching key support around 0.6705-20 (sixth time over the past year and the third occasion in the past six weeks). The inability to bounce too far from this area in recent weeks is a cause for concern but it is difficult to forcefully argue for further EUR-GBP downside until this level actually breaks. Indeed, buying EUR-GBP in this area would appear to be the logical thing to do. MPC minutes (see below) are due today.

EUR-CHF pulled back a little further yesterday, helped in part by news of the coup in Thailand, although some corrective pressure after last week’s advance was already in evidence. As it currently stands the main thrust of the recent EUR-CHF upmove remains intact and in this regard upside remains
favoured towards the 1.60-1.6175 area. Below 1.5830 is needed to violate this argument.

The NZD started to fall back yesterday, which is perhaps not too surprising given that quarterly current account data is due tonight. This has typically been a negative release for the NZD over the past year, so caution is definitely warranted.

Day Ahead
UK - the market will be looking for rate hike clues from the September MPC minutes. A fairly steady message looks likely given that they only raised rates the previous month, but indications of overall risk will be closely monitored. Mortgage lending is also due out and is likely to remain fairly strong.

US – the FOMC meeting outcome is due today and it seems highly likely that rates will be left unchanged and that they will offer a similar message to that seen at the last meeting. The basic conclusion is likely to be that future policy will be highly dependent upon the data relating to inflation/inflation expectations and growth moderation. It will be interesting to see whether any mention is made of the recent fall in oil prices. While this is comforting from an inflation perspective, it will help to support economic activity via real income effects on both consumer and business sectors. Also of interest will be what they say about the upgrades to unit labour costs in the first half of this year. Overall, the comments are unlikely to significantly affect market sentiment on Fed policy.

Japan – the data news flow has remained generally negative out of Japan and tonight sees the release of the latest monthly trade data. The trade data has been one of the plus points for Japan in recent months, with seasonally adjusted export values and volumes remaining in strong uptrends, so it will be interesting to see whether this data also starts to show signs of weakness.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

IT Ind orders (Jul) y/y 09.00 0.0%
GB MPC minutes (Sep 6-7 meeting) 09.30
GB BBA mortgage lending (Aug) 09.30 +£5.7bn last
GB PSNCR (Aug) 09.30 £4.5bn
CA Leading indicator (Aug) m/m 13.30 +0.2%
CA Wholesale sales (Jul) m/m 13.30 +0.5%
US FOMC meeting outcome 19.15 5.5%
NZ Current account (Q2) 23.45 -NZ$2.73bn
JP Trade balance (Aug, sa) 00.50 ¥0.75trn

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Sep 17) -15 -13 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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