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Thursday September 28, 2006 - 10:35:31 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• JPY remains soft - CPI data awaited.
• EUR-GBP reverses higher after data revisions.
• NOK boosted by hawkish tone from Norges Bank.

Market Outlook

The JPY remained weak in Asia but bounced back for a while against the EUR midway through the European morning following comments from vice finance minister Fujii, who said that recent EUR-JPY movements had been “a bit rough”. This follows yesterday’s comments from new finance minister Omi, who said that he saw no need to comment on EUR-JPY. This should help to cap EUR-JPY in the high 149s in the run-up to tonight’s CPI data, which will be important in determining whether current appetite for JPY shorts can be extended.

EUR-GBPis up again this morning, with the market looking further at the detail behind yesterday’s GDP revision. As well as the downward revision from +0.8% q/q to +0.7% in real Q2 GDP – nominal or money GDP was revised down to +4.8% y/y from +6.0% due to the correction of an error. The MPC had noted the strength in this number at their September meeting. The revision does not necessarily mean that rates will not be hiked in November, but the news runs counter to recent developments, with the market having grown confident about a further hike in Q1. This confidence will now be much reduced. The move above 0.6740 on EUR-GBP is technically significant and suggests that downside risk has been removed for now. In this regard the bias will turn to the upside today and any move above 0.6777 leaves risk up into the 0.6800-25 area.

Norwegian labour market data was stronger than expected, offsetting the softer retail sales data, which is typically volatile. The data backs up the more hawkish framework advanced at yesterday’s policy meeting. The Norges Bank noted that core CPI had been weaker than expected, but in referring to other factors they said that “new data indicate that pressures in the Norwegian economy are now building up more rapidly than expected. At the same time, the krone has depreciated from high values.” They kept the reference to the ‘small, not too frequent steps’ approach to tightening adopted so far, although after yesterday’s hawkish words the market will be on the lookout for further developments that would raise the forecast rate profile. Yesterday’s comments certainly firm up the notion that 25bp rate hikes will now be seen at every two meetings, starting with a move on November 1, then in January, April and June. The move in EUR-NOK below 8.2375 is potentially significant (double top on the chart) if it can be sustained early in the US session. Below 8.1675 is needed to truly switch the bias back to the downside.

Day Ahead
US – the final estimate of Q2 GDP is unlikely to have too much market impact, while weekly jobless claims are also due.

New Zealand – Q2 GDP is out tonight although a fairly unusual number will be needed to freshly influence RBNZ expectations and the NZD. The key data will be next month’s quarterly CPI release. Support on NZD is at 0.6535.

Japan – CPI is the main feature in Japan tonight, with labour market, industrial output and PMI data also due. Last month’s CPI revisions were a real shocker to the market, although the fact that the last couple of month’s worth of core y/y rates are still rising has allowed the authorities to maintain that CPI is still on a rising trend (albeit from a lower base and much later than previously thought). The market is looking for CPI ex-fresh foods to nudge up to +0.3% y/y from +0.2% and such a development would be helpful to the claim that an uptrend is still in place. The other measure of core CPI, which excludes energy as well as food, was -0.2% y/y last month. The government pushed for the introduction of this measure at the beginning of the year in their attempts to argue that deflation was not dead. However, the latest data was so weak that even they have started to ignore it, on the basis that it may convey the wrong psychological signal in the battle against deflation. The latest reading on industrial output will be important as an indication about whether or not last month’s weakness was a one-off. A number of economic activity measures have been weak over the past couple of months, although last week’s strong export numbers and stronger than expected MoF business survey suggested that conditions might not be that bad.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

NO Norges Bank’s Bergo speaks 08.00
US GDP (Q2, final est) saar 08.30 +2.9%
US Core PCE prices (Q2, fin est) saar 08.30 +2.8%
US Initial claims (w/e Sep 23) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Sep 16) 08.30 2461k last
CA Industrial PI (Aug) m/m 08.30 -0.3%
CA Raw materials PI (Aug) m/m 08.30 -0.8%
NZ Business confidence (Sep) 09.00 -33.9 last
FR Unemployment rate (Aug) 18.00 8.9%
FR ILO job seekers (Aug) m/m 18.00 -20k
NZ GDP (Q2) q/q 18.45 +0.6%
JP CPI Tokyo (Sep, core) y/y 19.30 0.0%
JP CPI Nwide (Aug, core) y/y 19.30 +0.3%
JP Unemployment rate (Aug) 19.30 4.1%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Aug) 19.30 1.10
JP Overall PCE (Aug) y/y 19.30 -1.2%
JP PMI manu (Sep) 19.30 54.6 last
JP Ind prod (Aug, prel) m/m 19.50 +2.0%
AU Private sector credit (Aug) m/m 21.30 +1.1%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Retail sales (Aug) m/m +2.0% +1.0%
JP Small business confidence (Sep) 50.1 49.9
GB N’wide house prices (Sep) m/m +1.3% +0.4%
SE Retail sales (Aug) m/m -0.1% +0.3%
DE Unemployment (Sep) -17k -25k
DE Employment (Aug) +29k +53k last
NO Unemployment rate (Sep, nsa) 2.4% 2.5%
NO Retail sales (Aug) m/m -0.2% +0.2%
* 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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