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Tuesday October 3, 2006 - 10:26:29 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains soft after ISM, although lower oil prices should support economic activity.
• More erroneous comments from Omi.
• Swiss CPI pushed lower by oil.
• Turkish CPI features in light schedule.

Market Outlook

The USD has steadied a little in Europe after remaining soft in Asia following yesterday’s weaker than expected ISM report, which lent some weight to market perceptions about a slowing US economy and the possibility of Fed easing in Q1. However, while the ISM surveys provide a fairly reliable picture of economic activity, it would be premature to suppose that this latest reading is a sign of things to come, quite simply because the readings on output, orders etc are unlikely to reflect the positive impact from the recent fall in oil prices. If recent oil price declines are sustained this should be a supporting factor for activity in general and is something of a backstop to any near-term data disappointments, which might merely be a reflection of life before the oil price drop.

There is very little to focus on today so the next point of interest will be the non-manufacturing ISM on Wednesday. A weak outcome there will no doubt add to recent dovish sentiment, although again it may not fully reflect current (lower oil price) conditions. The market will also be waiting for Thursday’s ECB meeting. There is perhaps some slight upside risk to EUR-USD after yesterday’s developments (1.2800-40), but overall a quiet session looks likely today.

Omi’s inauspicious start as Japanese finance minister continued today after he said that it should be OK for the government to formally declare an end to deflation. This is of course something the government stopped short of doing in its latest economic report and he later clarified the comments by saying that he was speaking in a personal capacity rather than as finance minister. EUR-JPY dipped lower in Europe following a report from Jiji News that Japan may start intervening on EUR-JPY, while there were also vague rumours that the ECB was checking rates. However, EUR-JPY moved back up again following a comment from North Korea that it was planning a nuclear test (while adding that they were committed to denuclearisation). Support on EUR-JPY is at 149.50-60 ahead of 149.00 while resistance at 150.25-30 needs to break to suggest a major threat to the recent high at 150.75.

Swiss CPI was weaker than expected this morning (+0.8% down from +1.5%) in another indication off how the recent fall in oil prices is having an impact on CPI y/y rates. Oil prices have fallen sharply during September, a significant turnaround to last September when prices rose sharply as a result of hurricane Katrina. This means significantly negative base effects on the y/y rate and is likely to be repeated in many other national headline CPI rates.

UK mortgage equity withdrawal data fell back a little in Q2, although it remains well above the lows seen at the end of 2004. There are two ways of looking at this, both of which are supportive of arguments about an improving consumer backdrop. If equity is being withdrawn from property it is usually for one of two reasons – 1) to spend it, or 2) to restructure debt. The first means spending is higher, while the second means that consumer finances have improved and that consumers are fitter to spend in future. Today’s data is not crucial to the MPC’s current policy decision. GBP will likely retain some support ahead of Thursday’s MPC decision, given the slight fear of a surprise rate hike, but an unchanged outcome (more likely) should see EUR-GBP pressing higher.

Day Ahead
Turkey – CPI data is due and last month there was a weaker than expected number that temporarily boosted the TRY (lower CPI being positive for underlying asset markets). The market
will be anxious to see whether this improvement has been sustained and there is a fair chance it will have been given what has been happening to fuel prices. If this occurs (i.e. a sub-10% number) there could be a USD-TRY test of support at 1.4900. 1.46 should be solid below there.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Challenger layoffs (Sep) 07.30 65k last
US Chain store sls (w/e Sep 30) w/w 07.45 +0.1% last
US Redbook sls (w/e Sep 30) m/m 08.55 -0.6% last
TU PPI (Sep) y/y 09.30 +11.6%
TU CPI (Sep) y/y 09.30 +10.2%
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Oct 1) 17.00 -12 last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 6.0%
AU Trade balance (Aug) 21.30 -A$0.6bn
US Fed’s Hoenig on econ 21.45

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Monetary base (Sep) y/y -21.2% -22.4%
AU Retail trade (Aug) m/m +0.3% +0.2%
AU Building approvals (Aug) m/m +2.1% -3.0%
CH CPI (Sep) y/y +0.8% +1.1%
GB Mortgage equity withdrawal (Q2) £11.3bn £13.5bn
EU PPI (Aug) y/y +5.7% +5.7%
EU Unemployment rate (Aug) 7.9% 7.8%
* 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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