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Wednesday January 10, 2007 - 11:39:38 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD retains support on positional arguments – US trade data today’s main feature.
• Commodity nervousness is driving position adjustment in many markets.
• Markets remain slightly apprehensive ahead of next week’s BoJ meeting, but JPY prospects remain poor.
• Canadian trade data could be significant for the CAD.

Market Outlook

Position adjustment remains the main driving factor for most FX rates. Corrective pressure continues to favour the USD against European currencies, while ongoing weakness in commodity
also increases the risk of a flow back into USDs from emerging markets. There is a sense of unease about the impact of falling commodity prices on fund positioning in other markets. Weaker commodity prices are also a positive development for US fundamentals as they boost prospects for non-inflationary growth. The threat to inflation via input costs is reduced directly, while economic activity is also boosted via the real income benefits for both consumers and corporates.

However, it is the overhang of long positioning that is the biggest argument in favour of short-term EUR-USD downside. Some are clearly tempted to hang on in the hope of a hawkish ECB presentation at tomorrow’s council meeting and we would see a signal of a Feb rate hike as being likely from Trichet. However, even this is unlikely to be enough to neutralise current corrective pressures. US trade data today (see below) could be significant today.

The JPY has not weakened any further overnight, with market apprehension remaining in place ahead of next week’s BoJ meeting. However, as noted yesterday, there is a fair chance that rates will be left unchanged next week and even if they are raised it is likely to be seen as the last move until the second-half of the year (Upper House elections appear in July). The bottom line is that the JPY will maintain its low yield status and this should mean more JPY weakness over the coming month or so.

EUR-GBP was boosted by a much larger than expected UK trade deficit, although the ONS continue to warn against reading too much into m/m swings in the deficit, because of the adjustments they are making to imports because of VAT fraud – adjustments that could be subsequently revised in future months. 0.6680-90 support should hold on EUR-GBP.

Day Ahead
US – November trade data is due and it will be interesting to see whether the sharp narrowing seen last month (to the lowest level since August 2005) has been sustained. With oil prices remaining soft for most of November there is a good chance of this happening and if so it would be a supportive development for the USD. Weekly mortgage applications data is also due although after recent gross volatility it will take a run of weak or strong numbers in coming weeks for the market to have confidence in taking a view on what is happening.

Canada – Canadian trade data is due and the CAD will be sensitive to weak or strong export data. With some key commodity prices remaining weak this is a delicate time for the CAD and exports have fallen in each of the past two months. However, last week’s stronger than expected employment report was a positive development for the CAD and today could be key in determining whether USD-CAD can gain sufficient momentum to break through short-term resistance at 1.1800 (which would leave risk up to 1.1975-1.2000). The short-term market is already very long of USD-CAD, so any positive CAD news could see some corrective activity. Below 1.1715 would leave risk down to 1.1600-25.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Mortgage apps – purchases w/w 07.00 +4.3% last
US Trade balance (Nov) 08.30 -$59.5bn
CA Trade balance (Nov) 08.30 C$4.3bn
CA New house prices (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.2% last
CA Building permits (Nov) m/m 08.30 +6.1% last
AU Employment (Dec) 19.30 +15k
AU Unemployment rate (Dec) 19.30 4.7%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jan 7) -5 -3 last
AU Consumer sentiment (Jan) m/m +7.3% +11.8% last
AU Trade balance (Nov) -A$843m -A$775m
FR Ind prod (Nov) m/m -0.2% +0.7%
FR Trade balance (Nov) -€2.8bn -€2.3bn
SE Ind prod (Nov) m/m +1.4% +0.5%
NO CPI (Dec) y/y +2.2% +2.5%
NO CPIX (Dec) y/y +1.0% +1.0%
GB Global trade balance (Nov) -£7.19bn -£6.45bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Nov) -£4.6bn -£3.9bn
* 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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