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Friday October 20, 2006 - 10:54:41 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD sustains gains but remains below the key 1.2630-50 area.
• GBP bounces back after GDP – there were also elements of inflation concern in yesterday’s sales data.
• AUD nudges higher on RBA rate risk.
• Higher oil prices boost NOK.
• Canadian CPI features today.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s stabilisation in EUR-USD (sustained overnight) was aided in part by the weaker than expected Philly Fed number, which given the weaker tone to ISM leaves the NY Fed looking like an outlier. However, the flow of data this week has not really added to market wisdom on Fed rate prospects and this is evident in the performance of rate sensitive markets – the US 10-yr yield is at 4.78% compared to the closing high of 4.80% seen last Friday, while the Mar Euro$ rate future is unchanged on the week at 5.32%. The USD weakness seen this week is largely a response to the extent of the upmove seen over the previous couple of weeks, the latter being triggered by the adjustment in US rate expectations. As it currently stands EURUSD remains below 1.2630-50 (this being the breakout area for the initial downmove). A close back above here is needed to nullify the significance of the recent downmove and this is likely to be difficult today. Downward pressure remains on USD-JPY and a move back above 118.50 is needed to stabilise the situation today.

Yesterday’s retail sales data was a setback for GBP but it has bounced back this morning following the publication of stronger than expected Q3 GDP numbers. Even yesterday’s retail sales data were not that negative for rate hike expectations. While the headline sales volume figure (-0.4%) was weak, retail sales ‘prices’ were stronger. The so-called retail sales deflator, which essentially shows the price of the goods sold was +0.6% y/y, the first positive reading since January 2002 and the highest recorded rate since the +0.6% outcome seen in June 2001. This complements the picture emerging from the last couple of CPI releases, which have shown an uptick in the prices of some core goods categories. In this regard it could reinforce the current MPC focus on responding to growing upside pressure on core CPI. EUR-GBP is back down again today, although 0.6685 needs to be taken out to open downside risk.

The AUD continues to firm up going into next week’s CPI data, helped also by stronger commodity prices. Any strength in the CPI data should lead the RBA into hiking rates in early November. Indeed, a weaker number may be required to stop them tightening given the strength in other data such as employment and consumer sentiment. Yesterday’s move and close above 0.7580 was a positive step for the AUD, suggesting that it has finally cast aside the weaker/consolidative tone in place since the move lower in early September. Upside is favoured overall and a test of the 0.7700-30 area could follow if the CPI data is not weak. However, there may be some hesitancy until that data is seen. Interim support is at 0.7550-80. The OPEC output cut statement has boosted oil prices and brought EUR-NOK lower after yet another test and failure close to 8.50 yesterday. There is now some downside risk while it stays below 8.4500, although it is not clear just yet whether this will turn out to be the big pullback we are looking for. Small shorts are favoured.

Day Ahead
Canada – CPI is out today and 0.54% needs to be added to the CPIX-8 y/y rate to arrive at the BoC’s measure of the overall core CPI rate (the latter also excludes the effect of indirect taxes). It seems unlikely that this release will shake-up sentiment on BoC policy, especially after the steady message advanced by the BoC yesterday. The CAD looks better after yesterday’s price action and there is near-term risk to 1.1210 on USD-CAD while it stays below 1.1305.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

CA CPI (Sep) y/y 07.00 +0.9%
CA CPIX-8 (Sep) y/y 07.00 +1.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP All-industry index (Aug) m/m +0.7% +1.0%
GB GDP (Q3, 1st est) q/q +0.7% +0.6%
GB Services index (Aug) 3m/3m +0.6% +0.9% last
IT Retail sales (Aug) m/m +0.1% +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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