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Monday January 8, 2007 - 11:57:08 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Position cutting environment will continue to favour USD and JPY.
• Even a hawkish ECB this week may not be enough to stop EUR-USD downside.
• Global market stability will also affect FX markets.

Market Outlook

Last week’s run of US releases, culminating in Friday’s stronger than expected employment report, will mean a risk of more downward pressure on EUR-USD in the short-term. The news flow does not offer support to current market positioning and there is a clear risk of such positioning being scaled back further. Below 1.2950 would be a negative development, leaving short-term risk to 1.28. The prospect of a reasonably hawkish ECB statement on Thursday (a Feb rate hike should be signalled) may offer some support, but even this is unlikely to be enough to nullify current positional risk. US trade (Wednesday) and US retail sales (Friday) will also be of interest this week. EUR-USD back above 1.3050 would help to stabilize the current situation, although 1.3125 needs to be won back to suggest a resumption of some upside risk. Trichet speaks today as G10 CB chairman at the BIS and he is likely to reiterate central bank concerns about strong liquidity growth.

The other factor to keep an eye on is global market stability. Commodity markets, led by copper, have been showing signs of strain over the past week and equities have started to pullback a little. Whether or not this gathers pace over coming days will have significance for exchange rates. Additional volatility will exert further pressure on existing market positioning, with the USD and the JPY the likely beneficiaries, while emerging currencies and high-yielders would also suffer further. However, nothing has really changed for equity markets with regard to underlying fundamentals (US rate expectations are a little firmer, but the soft landing scenario remains intact) so the impetus provided from this quarter may be limited.

We would also see medium-term vulnerability for the jpy. Also important for the JPY this week will be comments from BoJ and government officials about policy prospects ahead of next week’s BoJ meeting. Japan was on holiday today.

German retail sales again came out weaker than expected, with sales in real terms having fallen in each of the past three months by a cumulative 2.1%. This stands in sharp contrast to the upbeat evidence from business surveys and high levels of consumer confidence. Once again there will be questions asked about the reliability of this data.

Day Ahead
Eurozone – German manufacturing orders can be volatile on a m/m basis although the current uptrend is well established and today’s data is unlikely to disturb that picture.

Norway – manufacturing output data has been buoyant in recent months, although after the scale of the advance seen in October (+2.0% m/m), the market is expecting a more subdued outcome for November. The NOK could recover slightly in the short-term, although this will also require some stabilisation in oil prices. Weakening oil prices leaves a risk of foreign portfolio outflows from Norway, although this has not yet shown up in our own in-house data on equity flows.

Australia – building approvals and the ANZ job ads index were both strong last night, although the more important retail sales numbers are due tonight. The market will be keen to see whether November sales responded to the rate hike earlier that month and the tone of the data will be significant in affecting sentiment about the likelihood of a further RBA tightening in February.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP Market Holiday
NO Manu output (Nov) m/m 09.00 0.0%
DE Manu orders (Nov) m/m 11.00 +1.5%
G10 Regular BIS meeting – Trichet press conf around 11.45
US Consumer credit (Nov) 20.00 +$6.0bn
AU Retail trade (Nov) m/m 00.30 +0.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU ANZ job ads (Dec) m/m +12.1% -3.8% last
AU Building approvals (Nov) m/m +4.1% +2.0%
CH Unemployment rate (Dec, sa) 3.1% 3.0%
DE Retail sales (Nov) m/m -0.3% +1.0%
* 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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