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Tuesday December 19, 2006 - 11:52:28 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD recovers in European morning. German IFO well ahead of market expectations.
• BoJ slightly dilutes hawkish message – JPY vulnerable.
• Canadian CPI, US PPI, housing starts and building permits feature today.

Market Outlook

After remaining firm through the Asian session the USD weakened in early European trading, with the market perhaps having one eye on a potentially strong IFO. They were not disappointed, with IFO once again coming in well ahead of market expectations and this served to push EUR-USD higher still. Cable has also been stronger this morning, although most of this was registered before the IFO release. There was market chatter about a big sell order in EUR-GBP.

The price action this morning suggests that a near-term bottom may have been found on EUR-USD after the recent corrective activity, although for choice one would want to see this extending through the rest of today’s North American session. Above 1.3180-1.3200 would be a further positive step today. Key supports remain at 1.3050 down to 1.2950. Any move back below 1.3120 would signal a likely test of these supports. The strength of the IFO survey (expectations as well as current conditions) will boost expectations about the German economy’s ability to shrug off the 3% VAT hike planned for January 1.

The BoJ left rates unchanged but Fukui reiterated the view that policy decisions will be taken on the basis of the overall economy, not just consumer spending and CPI numbers. He also said that rate hikes would be conducted in a timely manner but that they had no strict timetable in mind. However, the rest of his comments were not that hawkish. He acknowledged that consumer spending and CPI had been a little weak since the BoJ’s October outlook and that capital expenditure was not overheating. He said they would continue to examine all incoming data and review the situation in January. All options are still open for January, but there is no direct threat of a rate hike. This could mean further vulnerability for the JPY in the short-term and key will be whether the 118.60 level can hold on USD-JPY. The 155.57 recent high on EUR-JPY will also be significant.

Day Ahead
Canada – core CPI has been showing some strength in recent months and this could prove to be an impediment to any BoC easing if other data continues to weaken. The alarm bells will only start ringing if the BoC’s core y/y rate heads above 2.5%.

US – PPI will be watched for more signs of inflation moderation, although while core PPI has been broadly soft in recent months it has been volatile and this volatility has been driven by big swings in the prices of passenger cars and light trucks. In any case, the main focus is on Friday’s core PCE prices data to see if it reflects the weakness seen in last week’s core CPI. Housing starts is also due although of the main housing indicators, starts is the most lagging, so it seems implausible that any trend recovery will be witnessed just yet. However, a m/m rebound (or upward back revision) seems likely after the precipitous 14.6% m/m drop seen last month. Building permits are also due out and these have also fallen off the proverbial cliff since January (see chart.)

Data/event EDT Consensus*

CA CPI (Nov) y/y 07.00 +1.5%
CA BoC core CPI (Nov) y/y 07.00 +2.1%
US Chain store sls (w/e Dec 16) w/w 07.45 +1.0% last
US PPI (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.6%
US PPI core (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US Housing starts (Nov) 08.30 1540k
US Building permits (Nov) 08.30 1570k
US Redbook sls (w/e Dec 16) m/m 08.55 -1.7% last
US Fed’s Fisher on econ outlook 13.00
NZ Current account (Q3) 16.45 -NZ$5.1bn
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Dec 17) 17.00 +1 last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US NAHB housing index (Dec) 32 34
GB RICS house price balance (Nov) 47% 46%
JP BoJ rate announcement unch unch
DE PPI (Nov) y/y +4.7% +4.8%
DE IFO index (Dec) 108.7 106.8
DE IFO current (Dec) 115.3 114.1
DE IFO expectations (Dec) 102.5 100.0
IT Ind orders (Oct) y/y -0.2% +2.9%
* 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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