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Thursday October 12, 2006 - 10:48:18 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD weaker in Asia/early Europe after strengthening on FOMC minutes.
• Apprehension ahead of today’s US trade data may be contributing to USD retreat.
• AUD boosted by strong data releases.
• US and Canadian trade feature today - Beige Book and NZ data also due.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD dropped abruptly after the release of yesterday’s FOMC minutes, which once again advanced concerns about whether or not core inflation would quickly come back under control. However, it failed to extend these losses (staying above the 1.2470-90 support area) and has been steadying ever since. The USD has also been softer against the JPY and part of this may be due to some apprehension ahead of today’s US trade data, which is always a potential danger for the USD. 118.80 needs to break to really knock upside momentum on USD-JPY. 1.2615 is resistance on EUR-USD after 1.2570. The nature of trading once the US trade data is out of the way will provide a better indication of current underlying USD tendencies, which could remain to the upside in the very short-term.

Australian economic data overnight was stronger than expected and increases the chance of a rate rise in November. However, the Q3 CPI data (due October 25) will also be significant for that decision. Yesterday, RBA governor Stevens largely reiterated the tightening bias currently in place. The AUD has bounced back well in response to the data and has also been holding up well in the face of recent USD strength. A close back above 0.7500 would be further constructive and upside is tentatively favoured – tentatively only because of the risk of spillover effects from further USD strength against the majors.

The British Chambers of Commerce quarterly survey revealed a slight softening in the main service sector indicator, although other response categories in that sector were generally quite strong. Manufacturing was also up on the previous quarter (especially export orders and sales) and the prices balance was the highest since Q2 1997. This and the stronger than expected RICS survey released last night add weight to arguments in favour of a further rate hike in November.

Swedish CPI was a touch softer than expected, although this has had little impact on sentiment about Riksbank policy, with tightening expectations well embedded in the market. The SEK has stabilised a little this week and the low close in EUR-SEK yesterday is mildly promising, although it needs to stay below 9.2550-9.2600 today. The SEK was also boosted for a while this morning by MAN Group upping their total bid for Scania (via the cash element).

Day Ahead
US – the trade deficit for August is due today and it will be interesting to see how much of last month’s widening (to $68bn from $64.8bn) has been sustained. The Beige Book is due and this is likely to paint a picture of moderating activity and elements of some price pressure. It is unlikely to have much impact on Fed policy expectations, which have sobered up in any case over the past week.

Canada – trade data is also due in Canada and over the past few months exports have stabilised after the sharp declines experienced earlier in the year. However, recent developments in energy prices do support some further moderation in export performance over the balance of this year.

New Zealand – PMI manufacturing today and retail sales tonight could have some impact on expectations about the next RBNZ meeting on October 26. However, Q3 CPI data due out the day before that policy meeting will be crucial. A kind of wedge pattern is forming on the NZD, with key levels now at 0.6565-70 and 0.6625-30.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

NZ PMI manu (Sep) 07.01 53.0 last
US Trade balance (Aug) 08.30 -$66.5bn
CA Trade balance (Aug) 08.30 C$4.1bn
US Initial claims (w/e Oct 7) 08.30 312k
US Continuing claims (w/e Sep 30) 08.30 2448k last
ZA SARB policy announcement 09.00 onwards +50bp
US Beige Book for Oct 27-28 FOMC 14.00
NZ Retail trade (Aug) m/m 17.45 +0.1%
JP Domestic CGPI (Sep) y/y 19.50 +3.3%
JP BoJ policy outcome unch
JP Ind prod (Aug, final) m/m 00.30 +1.9%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB RICS house prices (Sep) +45.1 +34.9 last
JP M2 plus CDs (Sep) y/y +0.6% +0.4%
JP Bank lending (Sep) y/y +1.6% +2.0%
JP Current account (Aug, sa) ¥1.6trn ¥1.7trn
AU Consumer sentiment (Oct) +3.9% +12.5% last
AU Employment (Sep) +31.4k +5k
AU Unemployment rate (Sep) 4.8% 4.9%
JP Consumer confidence (Sep) 46.3 46.2
SE CPI (Sep) y/y +1.5% +1.5%
SE CPI UND1X (Sep) y/y +1.0% +1.1%
* 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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