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Friday December 8, 2006 - 11:16:57 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange - https://fx.mellon.com/

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - European Edition

Mellon FX Daily - European Edition

Key Points
• Today’s US data will be critical for short-term USD direction.
• An absence of weak data could allow the USD to recover further short-term.
• Weak Japanese data makes it difficult for BoJ to act on their instincts.
• US employment report/Michigan sentiment feature.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s presentation from Trichet has done little to detract from arguments about further ECB tightening in 2007, although he did seem fairly keen on playing down the possible automatic nature of future moves. In this regard, there will be some uncertainty about the timing of future rate hikes. However, overall tightening expectations should have been supported by yesterday’s comments and to this extent the EUR side of EURUSD is well bolstered. (German export data this morning also fits in well with the picture of strong Eurozone activity.)

Today is all about the USD side of that argument, with the employment report being a potentially significant contributor to the debate about the current state of the US economy. This will carry extra resonance perhaps with the FOMC due to meet next week. A very weak number will put extra pressure on the Fed to acknowledge the signs of strain in some of the economic data, while a solid report will make it that much easier for them to stick with the recent script i.e. that all we are seeing is some natural growth moderation. Michigan sentiment is also due today (see below for preview). 1.3370 and 1.3250 are the immediate parameters of interest on

EUR-USD today. The chart is starting to look a little negative from a very short-term perspective after the slight loss of upside momentum seen in recent days and any ‘as expected’ number today should see a further USD recovery. However, a weak report would most probably prompt further USD weakness.

Japanese data today has been weaker than expected, with Q3 GDP revised down to +0.2% q/q from +0.5% and machinery orders only bouncing back 2.8% after the 7.4% drop seen the previous month. The data will cast more doubt over the ability of the BoJ to hike rates in the short-term. They are keen to press ahead with rate normalisation, but with much of the data looking fragile it will be difficult to act on these instincts. Next week’s Tankan survey will be significant. US data will be key today but any move in USD-JPY above 115.50 would leave risk up towards 116.60.

Day Ahead
US – the employment report and Michigan sentiment are today’s main features. The state of employment is not always the best of indicators when trying to gauge the extent of an initial slowdown in activity, as employment is typically a lagging indicator. However, with sentiment about the US economy in such a state of flux, any major data releases will have potential to affect sentiment and the employment report certainly falls into that bracket. Indeed, there is always a chance that the less certain economic environment has already translated into hiring decisions becoming more tentative, although the normal caveats apply with regard to m/m changes on payrolls i.e. anything is possible. Also look out for the weekly hours data, which will show the extent to which the current set of employed labour is being utilised - a good indicator of underlying labour demand.

December Michigan sentiment will also be watched closely given basic market concerns about the consumer being negatively affected by ongoing housing market weakness. The final reading for November Michigan sentiment fell back to 92.1 from a preliminary estimate of 92.3 and 93.6 in October. However, this is still well above the averages seen in previous quarters this year – Q3 84.0, Q2 83.8 and Q1 88.9 – so things are not that bad just yet.

Diary
Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Ind prod (Oct) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
DE Ind prod (Oct) m/m 11.00 +0.5%
CA Housing starts (Nov) 13.15 220k
US Non-farm payrolls (Nov) 13.30 +100k
US Unemployment rate (Nov) 13.30 4.5%
US Average workweek (Nov) 13.30 33.9
US Hourly earnings (Nov) m/m 13.30 +0.3%
US Michigan sentiment (Dec, prel) 15.00 92.0

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Consumer credit (Oct) -$1.2bn +$4.2bn
JP GDP (Q3, 2nd est) q/q +0.2% +0.3%
JP M2 plus CDs (Nov) y/y +0.7% +0.7%
JP Bank lending (Nov) y/y +1.2% +1.1% last
AU Housing finance (Oct) m/m -0.1% 0.0%
JP Machinery orders core (Oct) m/m +2.8% +6.3%
DE Trade balance (Oct) €17.3bn €13.5bn
DE Exports (Oct) m/m +2.6% -2.0%
DE Current account (Oct) €11.6bn €7.5bn
* Consensus unless stated
3-mth moving average of m/m change

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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