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Monday February 5, 2007 - 11:50:14 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:05 EST

Key Points
• JPY liquidation risk high ahead of G7, although latter is unlikely to change negative JPY backdrop.
• ECB rumours continue to weigh on EUR.
• GBP weakens after PMI, but nervousness about MPC meeting likely to remain.
• US non-manufacturing ISM features today.

Market Outlook

The EUR has remained fairly soft through the night, weighed down by a combination of EUR-JPY liquidation pressure ahead of this weekend’s G7 meeting and last week’s rumours about a possible rate pause by the ECB. The former is likely to provide some general support for the JPY this week and there is clearly some risk of short-term JPY strength given the amount of short JPY positioning that is likely to be still in place. According to the latest IMM positioning data net USD-JPY longs for spec accounts had risen even further as of last Tuesday to 173,005 contracts (about $18bn) up from 164,860 the previous week. Support on EUR-JPY is at 155.75 – resistance at 157.80 needs to break to generate hopes that current liquidation pressures are being cast aside. 119.75-120.20 is support on USD-JPY. However, while there is some short-term corrective risk, it seems unlikely that G7 will come up with anything to offset the interest rate fundamentals underpinning recent JPY weakness.

EUR-USD has also been weak and needs to get back above 1.2970 to generate some stability – there is some downside risk until this happens. However, despite the recent movements the prior range of the past month remains largely intact (1.3050 having been briefly pierced on Friday) and this is likely to persist until Thursday’s ECB meeting at least. It is the ECB story that did the damage on Friday, although it remains slightly unclear how any ECB member would have the foresight to conclude so far in advance that policy will be left on hold for a while after April. This will surely depend upon how economic news develops.

Still, it has added extra spice to this week’s ECB meeting, where Trichet will face a challenging time communicating a consensus view. The main focus will be on whether or not he uses the word vigilance, but he is also likely to slap down the latest rumours and reiterate that monthly ECB meetings and press conferences are the only channels through which policy will be communicated. The US non-manufacturing ISM number will also carry significance for EUR-USD today.

EUR-GBP was pushed higher by a weaker than expected PMI services number, although at 59.2 it is not weak outright. Last month, this had pushed to 60.6 (the highest reading since June 1997) and attracted comment from the MPC (in the minutes) as part of the reasoning behind the January rate hike. The lack of another 60-plus number modifies one source of risk for a rate hike at this week’s meeting. However, while the MPC may naturally feel a little uncomfortable about pursuing successive rate hikes, much will depend upon what comes out of the latest set of forecasts generated as part of the Inflation Report. If these are high their inflation remit will suggest the need for another move. A more likely outcome is that rates are left unchanged, but the market will remain apprehensive and this is likely to leave EUR-GBP with a downside bias near-term. EURGBP will likely recover if, as we believe, rates are left unchanged

Day Ahead
US – the ISM for non-manufacturing is today’s feature and it will take a strong number to truly offset the disappointment related to the ISM for manufacturing.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US ISM non-manu (Jan) 10.00 57.0
CA PMI (Jan, nsa) 10.00 52.0

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU Retail trade (Dec) m/m +0.3% +0.5%
AU Building approvals (Dec) m/m -1.9% -1.0%
AU ANZ job ads (Jan) m/m -0.1% +12.1% last
IT PMI services (Jan) 55.4 54.8
FR PMI services (Jan) 58.8 57.2
DE PMI services (Jan) 58.3 57.0
EU PMI services (Jan) 57.9 56.8
GB PMI services (Jan) 59.2 60.0
IT CPI (Jan, prel) y/y +1.7% +1.9%
* 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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