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Wednesday October 4, 2006 - 10:47:47 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Uncertainty over ECB message could delay JPY losses for another day.
• ISM non-manufacturing the main focus for the USD today.
• NOK remains under the hammer.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has eased off again this morning and is still struggling for direction. EUR-JPY spiked up to 150.45 early in Asia and held above 150.00 through that session, but this too fell back in Europe. Recent price action remains fairly positive, suggesting that the market is poised to cast aside the constraint of existing short JPY positioning. However, one barrier that still has to be overcome is tomorrow’s ECB meeting, which is a potential double-edged sword. A rate hike and an indication of more to come will reinforce the interest rate arguments for the EUR over the JPY, but also of interest will be any comments Trichet makes about EUR-JPY. A few weeks ago after the last G7 meeting, he said that G7 were agreed that the JPY would eventually reflect Japan’s broad-based recovery. The risk of some kind of comment may provide the JPY with some support for another day. As for the USD itself today’s US ISM non-manufacturing data (see below for preview) may have some impact.

The desire for major liquid currencies and the move away from much of the periphery looks like being maintained for now. EUR-NOK moved back above 8.40 this morning and it needs to hold below 8.45 to avoid further moves up to 8.55. The recent oil price is not doing any favours for confidence in the NOK and with peripheral currencies out of favour this leaves some downside risk for the NOK. However, a medium-term NOK recovery is still favoured. Indeed, most peripheral currencies should bounce back at some point in the next month or so.

Day Ahead
US – the main feature is the ISM for non-manufacturing and the market will be anxious to see whether it replicates the weaker tone seen in the manufacturing ISM. Service sector activity has been slowing in recent times, with the non-manufacturing ISM having recorded sub-60 levels in each of the past three months. Apart from around the time of last year’s hurricanes, this is the first time this has happened since Q2 2003. However, unless today’s data is much weaker than expected, it is unlikely to damage perceptions of a very soft landing for the US economy, especially given the support that is likely to be provided in future months from the current fall in energy prices. The ADP estimate of employment is unlikely to have too much impact on expectations for Friday’s payrolls, while more Fed speakers are due. Bernanke talks about Savings and it will be interesting to see whether he equates the need for higher savings in the US with the need for high interest rates. Otherwise, any comments that are made about the economy are likely to be close to the message advanced overnight by Hoenig – the economy is likely to slow in coming months, but should receive support from lower oil prices, while the Fed is still mindful of elevated readings on core inflation.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US ADP employment (Sep) 08.15 +107k last
US ISM non-manu (Sep) 10.00 56.0
US Factory orders (Sep) m/m 10.00 -0.1%
US Fed’s Bernanke on savings 12.00
US Fed’s Geithner on emerg markets 12.00
US Fed’s Kohn on econ 19.30

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Oct 1) -13 -12 last
AU RBA rate announcement 6.0% 6.0%
AU Trade balance (Aug) -A$0.2bn -A$0.6bn
GB HBOS house prices (Sep) m/m +1.0% +0.8%
IT PMI services (Sep) 54.3 57.5
FR PMI services (Sep) 61.4 60.5
DE PMI services (Sep) 54.4 54.3
EU PMI services (Sep) 56.7 57.0
GB PMI services (Sep) 57.0 56.5
EU Retail sales (Aug) m/m +0.7% +0.5%
* 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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