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Tuesday October 10, 2006 - 10:42:44 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD strengthens across the board.
• USD-JPY at key levels – EUR-USD risk lower.
• Market ignores Chinese comments about reserve diversification.
• NOK boosted by CPI.

Market Outlook

The USD has strengthened further in the European morning, with 119.40 being challenged on USD-JPY and 1.2570 support giving way on EUR-USD. USD-JPY has been trying to get through the 118.90-119.40 resistance area since Friday and the market appears to be shrugging off the short JPY positioning in still in place (IMM net spec JPY shorts as of last Tuesday jumped to 104.2k from 87.4k the previous week). However, with the psychologically important 120 area in close proximity the market will be easily spooked by any rumours of official meddling in the market.

Japanese machinery orders data were released this morning and fell short of market expectations. This data series is volatile at the best of times, but the m/m swings seen in recent months have been especially erratic (Aug +6.7%, Jul -16.7%, June +8.5%) and this leaves some uncertainty about the underlying trend. As it currently stands the underlying uptrend is just about intact (see chart), but another decent m/m rise will be required next month to maintain such an argument.

The move in EUR-USD opens risk down to 1.2470-90. The market responded only briefly to comments from the Chinese central bank about them having little choice but to diversify away from the USD. On another day this could easily have boosted EUR-USD a lot more than it did, but not today given current sentiment.

There has been some talk about the possibility of North Korea conducting a second nuclear test, but Asian markets are still trying to work out whether recent events will have any lasting ramifications. As noted yesterday, key now will be how the political game plays out i.e. what sanctions the UN decide upon and how Korea then responds to those actions. The essential sign the markets will be looking for is that the situation is not going to escalate and while such an escalation seems unlikely this may not become clear until later next week.

Norwegian CPI was stronger than expected and with the EUR in decline this has helped EUR-NOK lower. Norwegian rate expectations have been generally in the ascendancy anyway since the latest Norges Bank meeting, where the bank issued a fairly hawkish message. However, this has not been offering much help to the NOK over the past couple of weeks. A NOK recovery against the EUR is favoured eventually, but a further test of 8.45 on EUR-NOK cannot be ruled out. Below 8.35 would mean further downside risk today.

Day Ahead
UK – monthly trade data already released this morning was disappointing, although the market will also be interested in the latest BRC retail survey. Sales have been a little stronger in recent months according to this survey.

Eurozone - Trichet testifies later today in front of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, although it seems unlikely he will reveal anything new. He seemed to be anxious not to disrupt market sentiment last week, although there is more chance of him being slightly hawkish than slightly dovish.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

GB BRC retail survey (Sep) y/y 06.00 +2.5% last
US Chain store sls (w/e Oct 7) w/w 07.45 -0.3% last
CA Housing starts (Sep) 08.15 218k
US Redbook sls (w/e Oct 7) m/m 08.55 0.0% last
EU ECB’s Trichet speaks 10.00
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Oct 8) 17.00 -13 last
AU Housing finance (Aug) m/m 21.30 -1.0%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Machinery orders core (Aug) m/m +6.7% +11.2%
FR Ind prod (Aug) m/m +0.8% +0.7%
FR Manu output (Aug) m/m +0.9% +0.7%
FR Trade balance (Aug) -€3.5bn -€3.0bn
SE Ind prod (Aug) m/m +0.9% +0.5%
NO CPI (Sep) y/y +2.6% +1.6%
NO CPIX (Sep) y/y +0.5% +0.3%
SE AMS Unemp rate (Sep, nsa) 4.2% 4.3%
IT Ind prod (Aug) m/m +1.2% +0.5%
GB Global trade balance (Aug) -£6.7bn -£6.2bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Aug) -£4.2bn -£3.7bn
* 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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