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Friday January 19, 2007 - 11:27:19 GMT
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Forex - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily
05:30 EST Thursday, January 19, 2007

Key Points
• EUR-USD steady - overall downside risk has not passed.
• JPY remains vulnerable, although there are a couple of obstacles in the way of current sentiment.
• EUR-GBP correcting slightly, but GBP remains supported by data – retail sales strong today.
• US Michigan sentiment features today.

Market Outlook

After having struggled for most of this week, EUR-USD failed to push lower yesterday despite further upbeat news on the US economy. Once again, this will embolden some to conclude that a short-term base has been found at 1.2865, although a move back above 1.3050 (the latest breakout point on the downside) is needed to add weight to this argument. With EUR-USD positioning still likely on the long side and US economic news improving, more downside could easily be seen on EUR-USD over the coming week.

The EUR was one of the currencies of choice against the JPY in Asia, although this has pulled back in Europe. There are some levels out there (158.05 on EUR-JPY, 240 on GBP-JPY and 121.90 on USD-JPY) that may provide some initial support for the JPY in the short-term and it is always dangerous when such a broad consensus builds up in favour of a particular move – in this case against the JPY. The Feb 9-10 G8 meeting may also cause some profit taking on the JPY at some point in coming weeks. However, it is difficult to argue against the interest rate fundamentals currently in place and these are unlikely to change too much in the medium-term. As noted yesterday, we would still see the odds being against a Feb BoJ hike. Despite all the talk about possible political manipulation of the BoJ, the case for tightening is just not clear at the moment given the uncertainties over consumption and CPI.

EUR-GBP has steadied a little overnight and given the scale of the fall over the past week or so there is a risk of a modest pullback. However, GBP appetite looks like remaining more durable than we initially thought, especially after yesterday’s remarkably strong BCC survey. This was backed up further this morning by a stronger than expected 1.1% advance in December retail sales, although such data is prone to extra volatility over the Nov-Jan period given the large swings in the raw data. Seasonally adjusting such developments is a challenging process. However, as it currently stands it is yet another positive development for GBP. EUR-GBP support remains at 0.6545 – above 0.6607 could trigger some corrective action.

New Zealand retail sales were slightly weaker than expected and in combination with the latest CPI data may just be enough for the RBNZ to pass over next week’s opportunity to hike rates. However, this will be a very close decision. The NZD fell back a little after the data was released, although with the JPY under pressure, the mere fact there may not be a rate hike next week does little to dampen the high-yield status of the NZD, so NZD appetite remains good. However, the Jan 16 high at 0.6975 needs to break to see some further advances against the USD.

Day Ahead
US – the University of Michigan’s measure of national consumer sentiment is due and looks set to remain fairly close to the levels seen through Q4. The 92.5 average recorded for Q4 was the highest for any three-month period since Jun-Aug 2005 when it was 93.9.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Fed’s Lacker on econ outlook 08.00
CA Wholesale sales (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.6%
US Michigan sentiment (Jan, prel) 10.00 92.3

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Retail sales (Nov) m/m -0.2% -0.1%
IT Ind orders (Nov) y/y +0.5% +1.1%
GB Retail sales (Dec) m/m +1.1% +0.6%
GB M4 lending (Nov) y/y +13.4% +14.4% last
GB M4 (Nov) y/y +12.8% +13.1% last
GB BBA mortgage lending (Nov) +£5.8bn +£6.7bn last
GB PSNCR (Dec) £13.4bn £15bn
* 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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