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Friday December 15, 2006 - 09:55:36 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - European Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD downside correction risk still in place.
• Early release of strong NY Fed index yesterday removes a potential pitfall for the USD.
• Tankan is fairly decent but BoJ expectations remain flat.
• Riksbank rate hike should be discounted, but SEK still looking good.
• Eurozone CPI, US CPI, industrial output and TIC portfolio data due today.

Market Outlook

USD corrective risk remains high and some negative USD news out of today’s releases will be required to prevent further EURUSD downside today. It is probably too early for the market to completely give up the negative USD sentiment that has materialised in recent weeks, although a correction down into the 1.3000-50 area could be seen initially. Yesterday’s early release of the NY Fed index, which was much stronger than expected at 23.1, has also removed a potential pitfall for the USD from today’s releases.

The JPY remains weak despite some strength in the Tankan. The index for large non-manufacturers edged up to a fresh 15 year high, while capex plans were also slightly ahead of expectations. However, such has been the impression built up in the Japanese media this week about the likelihood of unchanged rates at next week’s BoJ meeting, the data does not appear to have been enough to warrant a change of view. Also, if there was one small negative to come out of the Tankan it was the fact that expectations for the following quarter are lower than those for the current quarter – a sign of fragile confidence perhaps. However, overall this was a fairly decent survey and if this were the only item under consideration the BoJ would probably feel justified in raising rates. It is the lingering weakness in the consumer spending and CPI data that is causing the bigger problems for the BoJ.

The government has also made its feelings known overnight. While noting that the Tankan shows the economy to be in reasonable shape, most have also made it clear that they expect the BoJ to conduct policy in a manner that supports the recovery. Finance minister Omi said he wanted the BoJ to support the economy through its monetary policy, while economy minister Ota said that the BoJ should take account of the downside risks to the economy when making policy decisions. Chief cabinet secretary Shiozaki said “I would like the central bank to make an independent decision while keeping the government’s basic economic policy in mind.” No pressure there then. The government also released the latest data on the output gap, which fell 0.1% in Q3. This will be seen as an additional factor arguing against a rate hike.

USD-JPY briefly traded above 118.00 although 118.50-60 should hold it ahead of Tuesday’s BoJ decision. EUR-JPY is desperately trying to hang on to levels above 155.00 but this may prove difficult if there is a further shakeout on EUR-USD today.

Day Ahead
Sweden – the Riksbank is likely to raise rates by another 25bp early this morning, although this should come as no great surprise to the market with steady tightening already discounted. However, with other SEK positives lurking (i.e. hefty privatisation programme with foreign investors being welcomed) 9.00 is still at risk on EUR-SEK.

Eurozone – CPI will need to be well away from the consensus to have any impact on ECB policy expectations.

US – CPI, the TIC portfolio data and industrial output feature today. The USD could be sensitive to anything unusual on the TIC flows, although the main focus will be on the economic data to see whether there is any further evidence regarding the softer conditions in the manufacturing sector. However, the market will be slightly more relaxed on this matter following yesterday’s strong NY Fed index. Core CPI will once again be judged against the +0.2% benchmark.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Riksbank rate announcement 08.30 +25bp
NO Trade balance (Nov) 09.00 NOK24.7bn
EU CPI (Nov) y/y 10.00 +1.8%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (Nov) y/y 10.00 +1.6%
US CPI (Nov) m/m 13.30 +0.2%
US CPI core (Nov) m/m 13.30 +0.2%
US TIC intl portfolio balance (Oct) 14.00 +$69.5bn
US Ind prod (Nov) m/m 14.15 +0.1%
US Capacity utilisation (Nov) 14.15 82.1%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US NY Fed index (Dec) +23.1 +17.8
NZ Manu sales (Q3) q/q +2.7% +4.8%R last
JP Tankan – large manu (Q4) +25 +25
JP Tankan – large manu (Q1) +22 +23
JP Tankan – large non-manu (Q4) +22 +20
JP Tankan – large non-manu (Q1) +20 +21
JP Tankan capex (Q4) y/y +12.4% +12.2%
JP Tertiary index (Oct) m/m +2.1% +1.3%
* 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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