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Monday January 15, 2007 - 12:17:08 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Mellon FX Daily - European Edition

Mellon FX Daily - European Edition
08:25 GMT January 15, 2007

Key Points
• Weekend media reports and machinery orders help firming in BoJ rate expectations, although decision remains open.
• EUR-USD bounce may help expectations about a base having been reached, although positioning pressure may not have passed.
• GBP likely to remain firm ahead of tomorrow’s CPI.
• UK PPI features today – US market will be thinned by holiday.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has managed to recover off the lows seen on Friday with such lows being close to a line drawn through the highs of Jun, Aug and Nov (this line also being the breakout signal for the late-November rally in EUR-USD). The line currently comes in at 1.2865 and will be seen as a possible base for a recovery after the recent correction. However, latest IMM positioning data suggest that liquidation pressure may not have passed. The net positioning is for last Tuesday, when EUR-USD closed at 1.3001, so there has been some slightly more downside and more position closing since then. However, as of last Tuesday net spec long EUR-USD positioning stood at 75,172k contracts, only modestly down from the 77,456k reading on January 2. On this basis, rallies may be sold into.

The tone of this week’s US releases (NY and Philly Fed surveys, CPI, PPI, Michigan sentiment, housing starts, the NAHB housing index, industrial output and the Beige Book) will be significant. There is a US holiday today.

Japanese machinery orders were slightly ahead of market expectations, although the level of orders is essentially treading water at the current time and remains well below the highs seen earlier in the year (see the underlying trend in the chart). However, rate hike expectations have firmed up a little this morning, with the orders data supplementing weekend media reports that continue to suggest a possible BoJ inclination to raise rates on Thursday, not least because a majority of economists now expect the move, thus providing the BoJ with an opportunity to act without causing major market fallout.

Conversely, politicians continue to speak out against the wisdom of such a move, although is this a genuine attempt to forestall a BoJ move or merely an effort by the government to distance themselves from such an action? As we have outlined elsewhere, the BoJ is instinctively of the opinion that rates need to be higher, but a number of uncertainties remain in place regarding the direction of CPI, consumer spending and even orders and capex, which would argue against rushing into a further move at this stage. Significantly, the JPY has failed to benefit from recent developments, suggesting that the market will continue to view the JPY as a low-yielding currency even if rates are raised.

GBP is likely to remain firm ahead of tomorrow’s CPI data, which, increasingly, is expected to be strong given last week’s surprise rate hike. GBP may also receive some help from this morning’s announcement of GE taking over the aerospace division of Smiths Group for £2.25bn in cash, although much of the FX may have already been done, Indeed, the GBP proceeds may have been raised locally, in which case there would be no FX. PPI data today (see below) will also be significant for GBP.

Day Ahead
UK – PPI data will be in focus given current inflation anxieties and it is the time of the year (Dec, Jan) when annual output price changes are implemented. This will set the tone for PPI output going into the New Year and the MPC views this series as a key pipeline indicator of end-inflation.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Market Holiday
EU Trichet spks to mark Slovenia entering Eurozone 09.00
NO Trade balance (Dec) 09.00 NOK25bn
IT Ind prod (Nov) m/m 09.00 +0.3%
GB PPI input (Dec) m/m 09.30 +0.2%
GB PPI output (Dec) m/m 09.30 +0.1%
GB PPI output core (Dec) y/y 09.30 +2.5%
GB DCLG house prices (Nov) y/y 09.30 +9.2%
EU Ind prod (Nov) m/m 10.00 +0.8%
JP Domestic CGPI (Dec) y/y 23.50 +2.5%
GB RICS house prices (Dec) 00.30 45%
JP Ind prod (Nov, final) m/m 04.30 +0.7%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Machinery orders core (Nov) m/m +3.8% +3.4%
AU Housing finance (Nov) m/m -0.6% 0.0%
* 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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