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Wednesday November 8, 2006 - 11:28:36 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Growing ECB rate hike expectations could be supporting EUR-USD.
• EUR-USD yet to retest yesterday’s highs.
• Democrats gain House, closing in on Senate – but election impact should not have any USD implications.
• AUD slips after ‘as expected’ RBA rate hike.

Market Outlook

There appears to be quite a focus on the outcome of US midterm elections, but the implications for the USD should be limited. USD prospects have not really been contingent on the possible course of official policies between now and the next Presidential election. The key elements – attitude to China etc – have already been commandeered by Paulson, while so called “USD policy” is also unlikely to be altered by what happens to the shape of Congress. The Democrats have already won the House and seem to be in the verge of securing the Senate, although there is a risk of a lengthy recount in Virginia. Either way any radical policy plans by Bush will now be jettisoned, although it was not clear that such radicalism was planned in any case.

Overnight, EUR-USD has failed to breach the heights seen yesterday following the break above last week’s highs (1.2780- 1.2800). It is not clear whether there was anything in particular driving yesterday’s move – knock-on effects from the USD-JPY move, focus on the election perhaps or the ongoing upward creep in ECB rate expectations (Jun 2007 Euribor touched a new contract high of 3.96% yesterday).

Another probe higher could be seen today (very strong German export data this morning may have also aided the EUR’s cause), although unless yesterday’s highs are broken a pullback should be seen. If yesterday’s high is taken out we would still not expect this current move to lead to a breakout above the 1.2900-50 area. USD-JPY also remains on the defensive and some downside risk will remain in place as long as it stays below 118.00-20.

In Australia, the RBA raised rates by 25bp, citing the need to respond to the increased risk of inflation staying above 2%-3% over the medium-term. They also noted that there had been evidence of past rate rises having some impact on the credit data, but gave no clear signal about what may happen in future. This will probably have to wait until next week’s quarterly Policy Statement. Housing finance data was not as weak as expected, while employment data is due tonight. The AUD initially failed to respond to the news and eventually slipped lower, with the market already well positioned for the hike. In the absence of news that will really rev up hopes of an additional hike in Q1, profit-taking pressure could now set in, although this should be fairly limited. Below 0.7670 would be the trigger for a move in the short-term.

Day Ahead
US – Moskow speaks about the economy and is likely to reiterate the views he offered on Monday. These were fairly close to the current FOMC script – inflation seems to be gradually receding, but that the risk of inflation remaining too high is greater than the risk of growth being too low. He also said that further rate hikes might yet be needed. In an interview in today’s FT, FOMC dissenter Lacker is critical of the way the Fed has communicated its aversion to inflation, arguing that they should have (and may have to be) more aggressive.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

CA Housing starts (Oct) 08.15 215k
CA BoC’s Longworth speaks 08.35
US Fed’s Moskow spks on econ at 09.10 (closed to media) & 12.10
NZ Unemployment rate (Q3) 16.45 3.7%
JP M2 plus CDs (Oct) y/y 18.50 +0.6%
JP Bank lending (Oct) y/y 18.50 +1.6% last
AU Employment (Oct) 19.30 +7.5k
AU Unemployment rate (Oct) 19.30 4.8%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Consumer credit (Sep) -$1.2bn +$6.0bn
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Nov 5) -3 -3 last
AU RBA rate announcement +25bp +25bp
AU Housing finance (Sep) m/m -1.2% -3.0%
DE Trade balance (Sep) €15.6bn €13.2bn
DE Current account (Sep) €9.4bn €6.5bn
DE Exports (Sep) m/m +6.6% +1.1%
NO Unemployment rate (Aug, sa) 3.3% 3.3%
* Consensus unless stated

Ian Gunner 44 20 7163
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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