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Wednesday February 7, 2007 - 11:34:22 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:25 EST

Key Points
• MoF comment promotes further easing in pre-G7 tension/JPY liquidation pressure.
• Tomorrow’s ECB meeting will be significant for the EUR.
• US unit labour costs, Japanese bank lending, Australian employment feature.

Market Outlook

A senior MoF official stated earlier in the Asian session that it was natural for the JPY to be the subject of some discussion at the G7 meeting, but that it was unlikely to be a major topic. EUR-JPY (just under 156.00 before the comments) was boosted by the news as the market breathed a further sigh of a relief that this weekend’s meeting would probably not see the emergence of anything significant.

This is a fair assessment, although the market may remain a little apprehensive until the meeting is out of the way and as far as EUR-JPY is concerned there is the added obstacle of tomorrow’s ECB meeting. Will Trichet signal a March rate hike and how will he deal with last week’s rumours about a rate pause? It is more than likely that the net outcome of his presentation will be EUR positive, so this too should help to rebuild EUR confidence even further, although some uncertainty will remain until the event is out of the way. The 157.40-80 area needs to break on EUR-JPY to suggest a fresh push on recent highs, which is certainly a risk for next week.

With the pressure relenting on EUR-JPY, EUR-USD has managed to stabilise, but it remains well inside the recent range and short-term prospects will also be driven by the outcome of tomorrow’s ECB meeting. The top end of the range should be tested if Trichet shrugs off recent dovish rumours, although quiet trading seems likely today.

Day Ahead
US – unit labour costs data for Q4 will be watched for any sign of inflation pressure, although this data can sometimes be volatile, as witnessed by the sharp downward revisions (to previously very strong Q2 data) seen in the final Q3 numbers released in December. Weekly mortgage applications are also due today and they have been more subdued of late but remain above the levels seen in the Jul-Oct period.

Japan – bank lending data tonight will be of interest after the sharp rise seen last month. Lending had been steady for most of 2006 so it will be interesting to see whether the December rise was just a one-off. At the time of the last release a BoJ official said the data was boosted by special factors relating to M&A activity. After the recent weakness in CPI and consumer spending some very strong data will be required to renew any rate hike risk.

Australia – employment data could have an impact on sentiment about future RBA rate hike risk. The strength in the labour market data in recent months will be one factor nagging on the mind of the RBA that medium-term inflation pressure is alive and well. A weak number would be a further indication that rate hike risk is receding, while more strength would suggest that such conclusions might be slightly premature. There is some upside risk on the AUD while it stays above 0.7760.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Mortgage apps – purchases w/w 07.00 +1.3% last
US Fed’s Plosser on 2007 econ outlook 08.15
US Productivity (Q4, 1st est) saar 08.30 +1.8%
US Unit lab costs (Q4, 1st est) saar 08.30 +2.4%
US Consumer credit (Dec) 15.00 +$6.0bn
NZ Unemployment rate (Q4) 16.45 3.8%
JP M2 plus CDs (Jan) y/y 18.50 +0.9%
JP Bank lending (Jan) y/y 18.50 +1.7% last
GB NIESR GDP (3mths to Jan) q/q 19.01 +0.7% last
AU Employment (Jan) 19.30 +5k
AU Unemployment rate (Jan) 19.30 4.6%
CH CPI (Jan) y/y 01.45 +0.5%
DE Trade balance (Dec) 02.00 €16.5bn
DE Current account (Dec) 02.00 €10.5bn
DE Exports (Dec) m/m 02.00 +0.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Feb 4) -1 -3 last
AU RBA rate announcement unch unch
CH Unemployment rate (Jan, sa) 3.0% 3.1%
NO Manu output (Dec) m/m +1.4% 0.0%
NO Unemployment rate (Nov, sa) 2.9% 3.0%
GB Ind prod (Dec) m/m -0.1% +0.1%
GB Manu output (Dec) m/m +0.2% +0.1%
DE Ind prod (Dec) m/m -0.5% +0.5%
* 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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