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Thursday November 9, 2006 - 11:41:41 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• JPY weakens significantly against EUR and GBP.
• Dubai talks openly of taking stakes in Eurozone companies.
• Trichet speaks about the importance of monetary indicators.
• Limp labour market data could aid short-term AUD correction.
• EUR-SEK makes fresh 20-month low.
• US data (trade/Michigan sentiment) features today.

Market Outlook

The JPY has weakened significantly in Europe, although USDJPY is still below 118.20. The main move has been on the crosses with EUR-JPY trading above the recent high of 150.74 and GBP-JPY making fresh eight-year highs (touching 225.30). It could be a significant couple of days for the JPY in terms o whether these crosses can build on today’s moves. Closes above 150.75 on EUR-JPY and 225 on GBP-JPY are the requirements to suggest a fresh push higher and this looks increasingly likely.

Japanese bank lending data was a little softer than expected – another example of the data failing to develop in a manner consistent with a short-term rate hike – although this had limited market impact at the time. Machinery orders data is due tonight. This series has fallen away a little in recent months, although the overall uptrend remains intact. Some resilience is needed to shore up confidence in the economy. Any weakness will further erode confidence in the ability of the BoJ to press ahead with rate hikes.

Trichet defended the monetary approach to policy determination in an interview in the FT. While he said that he was no monetary Luddite, he did say that a monetary element to policy making was essential. Given the continuing strength in most monetary indicators in the Eurozone, this supports the argument about further rate hikes in 2007.

State owned Dubai International Capital said it was interested in taking stakes in Airbus parent EADS as well as several German companies. There were rumours about the EADS stake yesterday and the story seems to be providing some support for EUR-USD. US data releases today (see below) will also be significant as to how the USD develops. EUR-USD needs to hold on to 1.2745-50 to sustain the recent positive tone in the very short-term.

A mixed bag of labour market data out of Australia, with employment falling 32.1k, led by a 48.6k drop in full-time employment, but the unemployment rate falling to a new low of 4.6%. However, the latter was only due to a fall in the participation rate. The data is volatile enough to suggest the need to wait for another month of data before taking a view on whether this represents a fresh development. However, it comes at a slightly awkward time for the AUD, which is already on the defensive after the fully discounted RBA rate hike. There is now some risk down towards 0.7575-0.7600, which should offer good support.

EUR-SEK fell back this morning (low of 9.1175) reaching its lowest level since March 2005. There was nothing in particular behind the move, which happened when ‘as expected’ CPI numbers were released. Presumably, the data was seen as a potential barrier to the SEK-positive story that has been developing. Unemployment data released 30-minutes later also showed a lower than expected unemployment rate. On the basis of the price action alone there is a risk of this downmove being extended today. A move below 9.10 would see risk to 9.05. Back above 9.1350-9.14 would take away some of the downside risk in the very short-term, but above 9.17 is needed to reduce it significantly.

Day Ahead
UK – the MPC meeting features today and a 25bp rate hike seems likely but key will be the message from the statement that accompanies the move, especially whether it indicates the likelihood of further tightening in the months ahead. More likely is that the market will be forced to wait until the Inflation Report the following week for a more accurate reading of MPC thinking on future policy. Any boost to GBP today should be limited. Monthly trade data is also due although this has been fairly volatile in recent months.

US – today is the main day for US data releases this week, with US trade data, import prices and Michigan sentiment due. The Michigan number is perhaps the most important, given that one of the market’s current focal points is how the consumer is faring with regard to softer fuel prices but a weaker housing market. The recent Conference Board measure of confidence fell short of expectations, but the ABC weekly measure of sentiment has remained close to multi-year highs. The US trade data always carries some market moving potential for the USD, although an unusual number will be required to trigger a reaction.

Canada – the trade balance data will be watched for the latest reading on exports, which have started to recover a little over the past few months after the weakness seen earlier in the year.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

GB MPC rate announcement 07.00 +25bp
US Trade balance (Sep) 08.30 -$66.0bn
US Import prices (Oct, nsa) y/y 08.30 +2.0% last
US Imp prices ex-petrol (Oct, nsa) y/y 08.30 +2.0% last
US Initial claims (w/e Nov 4) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Oct 28) 08.30 2415k last
CA Trade balance (Sep) 08.30 C$3.5bn
CA New house prices (Sep) m/m 08.30 +1.0%
US Michigan sentiment (Nov, prel) 10.00 93.4
JP Machinery orders core (Sep) m/m 00.00 +0.9%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Unemployment rate (Q3) 3.8% 3.7%
JP M2 plus CDs (Oct) y/y +0.7% +0.6%
JP Bank lending (Oct) y/y +1.1% +1.6% last
AU Employment (Oct) -32.1k +7.5k
AU Unemployment rate (Oct) 4.6% 4.8%
GB HBOS house prices (Oct) m/m +1.7% +0.6%
SE CPI (Oct) y/y +1.3% +1.3%
SE CPI UND1X (Oct) y/y +1.0% +1.0%
SE AMS Unemp rate (Oct, nsa) 4.0% 4.1%
GB Global trade balance (Sep) -£6.6bn -£6.5bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Sep) -£3.9bn -£4.0bn
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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