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Wednesday December 6, 2006 - 13:27:16 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD momentum faltering a little ahead of tomorrow’s ECB meeting.
• Yesterday’s US data should also help to slightly modify (without removing) recent USD bearishness.
• The JPY looks set for further near-term outperformance after recent BoJ comments, although a major uplift in rates still looks unlikely.
• UK manufacturing output disappoints.
• UK pre-Budget Report, US ADP employment and RBNZ announcement feature.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s stronger than expected non-manufacturing ISM data out of the US provided some degree of comfort for the USD. It helps to promote the argument that the weakness currently being seen in the US economy may just be confined to a few, albeit key, sectors like housing, construction and autos. While underlying USD sentiment is likely to remain negative for now, yesterday’s data as well as some apprehension ahead of tomorrow’s ECB meeting has weighed on EUR-USD this morning. It is more than likely that Trichet will retain a hawkish tone, especially given the recent strength in the data and growing noises from Germany about the need for higher wage growth. However, there is some nervousness about the possibility of him sending a more equivocal message on what policy will be like in 2007. The 3.5% level of rates likely to be seen after tomorrow’s meeting is getting close to what some may consider to be the bottom end of a neutral range. Momentum on EUR-USD has also started to falter a little.

Yesterday was the first trading day in 13 that EUR-USD failed to make a higher intra-day high than the previous day and today is the first day in 10 that a lower low has been recorded. There is some short-term risk to 1.3200-20.

It is against the JPY that the USD remains under pressure and the JPY in general remains firmer across the board. Recent comments from BoJ officials – Mizuno yesterday and Nishimura earlier today – seem to be aimed at trying to nudge markets into believing that a rate hike could still be carried out in the short-term and this is fuelling some talk about a rate adjustment as early as the Dec 18-19 meeting. However, the fact that both are acknowledging the weakness in consumer spending suggests that such decision has not yet been made. Indeed, it seems unlikely. BoJ nervousness could allow for further JPY outperformance in the short-term, although the status of this week’s data (especially machinery orders) will be significant. Given the current data set the BoJ is not in a position to push a major adjustment in interest rates.

There has been more disappointing data out of the UK, with manufacturing output falling 0.4% m/m in October. This supplemented the corrective tone already in place for cable and there is now some downside risk, although there should be some decent support ahead of the latest breakout point at 1.9550 (the old 2004 high).

Day Ahead
UK – the pre-Budget report will probably see Brown revising up ‘trend’ growth and as a consequence his revenue forecasts can be better supported. This will in turn reduce the risk of tax hikes, at least from a planning perspective. Market impact is likely to be limited. NIESR GDP is also out tonight. Key over the coming month will be news about the UK consumer, to see whether recent bad news is purely transitory or something more serious. How this pans out will be key for UK rate expectations.

US – the ADP employment estimate will have some bearing on expectations about Friday’s non-farm payroll data if well away from the numbers seen in recent months.

New Zealand – the RBNZ are set to leave rates unchanged this evening, but will likely reiterate warnings about future inflation risk. Also watch out for any references to the NZD.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

UK Pre-Budget Report 07.30
US ADP employment (Nov) 08.15 +108k
CA Building permits (Oct) m/m 08.30 -1.3%
CA PMI (Nov, nsa) 10.00 60.0
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 15.00 unch
GB NIESR GDP (3mths to Nov) q/q 19.01 +0.7% last
AU Employment (Nov) 19.30 +10k
AU Unemployment rate (Nov) 19.30 4.8%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Dec 3) -1 +1 last
AU RBA rate announcement unch unch
GB N’wide cons confidence (Dec) 89 95
AU GDP (Q3) q/q +0.3% +0.4%
GB Ind prod (Oct) m/m -0.8% +0.1%
GB Manu output (Oct) m/m -0.4% +0.2%
DE Manu orders (Oct) m/m -1.1% +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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