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Monday December 4, 2006 - 11:43:59 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD bias remains down following Friday’s ISM data.
• Some very strong non-manufacturing ISM data is needed tomorrow to provide an offset.
• Technical bias on EUR-USD pointing to 1.34-1.35, cable to 2.00 in the short-term, but there could be some caution ahead of Thursday’s ECB meeting.
• IMM data shows a big cut in net JPY shorts.
• US pending home sales feature today.

Market Outlook

Friday’s sub-50 reading on US ISM manufacturing was a further painful blow to USD sentiment and will make it more difficult for Fed rate expectations to recover in the short-term. Some very strong data will be needed this week form the non-manufacturing version of the ISM to offer support to sentiment about the US economy. Friday’s employment report will also be important although it is the ‘activity’ data that is key at the current time rather than the more lagging indicator of employment. However, the current nature of hiring decisions will reveal current levels of confidence amongst employers.

Overall, there is nothing out there just yet to interrupt the positive technical bias that has developed on EUR-USD since the break of 1.30 and 1.34-1.35 remains the short-term target (2.00 will be a similar draw on cable). The only possible brake on EUR-USD strength this week – other than a very strong US non-manufacturing ISM tomorrow – will be some nervousness about Thursday’s ECB meeting. Given the strength of key data releases it seems unlikely that Trichet will soften the ECB rhetoric with regard to policy intentions, although the market may be a little concerned about such a development as the meeting gets closer.

Japanese capex data for Q3 was fairly solid but not as strong as the market had expected it to be. This offers some slight downside risk to the 2nd estimate of Q3 GDP scheduled for Thursday night. Machinery orders are also due very early on Friday morning. Latest IMM positioning data showed spec net JPY shorts narrowing to 41,958 contracts as of Tuesday from 80,421 the previous week, suggesting that speculative froth is being skimmed off the JPY. This may have progressed a little further during the second half of last week. Any suggestion that the previously excessive short JPY position is being pared back is a negative factor for the JPY, as this has been one of the few positive arguments in the JPY’s favour in recent weeks. The general tone in the USD and EUR-USD will dictate USD-JPY and EUR-JPY movement this week. Key for USD-JPY is to hold on to support at 115.00 on a closing basis, while EUR-JPY upside looks favoured initially. However, the market may become a little cautious ahead of Thursday’s ECB meeting.

Day Ahead
US – October pending home sales data is the main feature today and while this has exhibited some volatility over the past few months (July -7.0%, Aug +4.5% and Sep -1.1%), the overall downtrend remains intact. This is an area where some stabilisation needs to be seen to offer support to Fed rate expectations and the USD.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

TU CPI (Nov) y/y 09.30 +9.8%
US Pending home sales (Oct) m/m 10.00 -0.5%
EU ECB’s Trichet spks 11.35
AU Current account (Q3) 19.30 -A$11.0bn

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Capital spending (Q3) y/y +11.9% +16.1%
JP Monetary base (Nov) y/y -22.3% -22.7%
AU Building approvals (Oct) m/m -7.4% -1.5%
AU ANZ job ads (Nov) m/m -3.8% +5.8% last
EU PPI (Oct) y/y +4.0% +4.1%
* 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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