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Monday February 26, 2007 - 11:39:53 GMT
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Forex Research: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:25 EST

Key Points
• USD remains soft but key US releases this week will be critical.
• German consumer confidence down but by no means out.
• EUR-USD net long positioning at record high last week according to IMM data.
• Few events of interest today.

Market Outlook

The USD has remained reasonably soft in Asia and Europe, with some citing increasing concerns about the situation with Iran. US and European officials are due to meet today to
discuss whether sanctions against Iran should be tightened further. However, major USD movement in the short-term will be largely dictated by what happens to key data releases over the next couple of weeks. There are a number of US releases scheduled for this week, with durable orders, consumer confidence, new and existing home sales, the 2nd estimate of Q4 GDP, Chicago PMI, core PCE prices, the manufacturing ISM and Michigan sentiment all featuring. Next week sees the ISM for non-manufacturing and the employment report. The ISM is this week’s highlight – the key issue being whether or not it can bounce back above the key 50 level. Bernanke also testifies on fiscal policy and the economy on Wednesday.

While this week is a busy one for economic releases in general, there is hardly anything of interest today. German consumer confidence has already been released earlier this morning and the headline reading was again subdued by a weak showing in the willingness to buy category (lowest since June 2005). This suggests that consumers are still wary about the January VAT hike, perhaps because there is a sense that the full extent of the price rises have yet to come on stream. However, other categories in the consumer confidence survey, such as expectations about the economy and income growth, remain strong, so the outlook for the consumer sector in general still looks favourable.

IMM data released on Friday shows the state of positioning as of last Tuesday and there was another sharp rise in net long positioning on EUR-USD. As of last Tuesday net spec longs on EUR-USD stood at 99,326 contracts (new record high) after rising to 83,795 from 45,330 the previous week. This suggests that further EUR-USD upside will be challenging in the short-term, unless there is some supporting news flow. 1.3200-50 remains the main resistance area for the short-term. Support comes in at 1.3155 initially, although the broader range extends to 1.3060. Modest downside is favoured today.

Net long positioning on USD-JPY fell back to 116,195 contracts after rising to 167,505 from 128,526 the previous week. However, this was before the BoJ meeting outcome on Wednesday. JPY prospects this week will be influenced by the tone of Japanese CPI and consumer spending data released on Friday. However, strong numbers will be required to take the edge off the current weaker JPY bias that remains in place. Immediate support on USD-JPY is at 120.50-75, while resistance is at 122.20.

Sweden’s Ericsson bid NOK8.6bn in cash for Norway’s Tandberg, 10.4% higher than a bid from Arris Inc from the US. Tandberg is currently considering the proposal. Ericsson has already acquired a stake of 11.7% and also has acceptances from 13% of other shareholders. The FX implications of these transactions are never straightforward. For example, Ericsson buying the Norwegian stock off Swedish shareholders may allow some circumvention of the FX risk, while Ericsson could borrow NOK locally. At the margin it is NOK-SEK supportive, but NOK-SEK has been rising in any case in recent weeks, primarily due to the downward adjustment in Swedish rate expectations following the Feb 15 Riksbank meeting. Resistance is at 1.1575-1.1600, support at 1.1460-1.1500.

Day Ahead
UK - the MPC’s Blanchflower speaks and he is the most dovish member of the committee at the present time, having long taken the view that ongoing slack in the labour market will restrain wage growth. A similar message seems likely today.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

EU Trichet attends Eurogroup meeting 09.00
GB MPC’s Blanchflower speaks 12.30

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Trade balance (Jan) -NZ$833m -NZ$645m
NZ Business confidence (Jan) -5.9 -7.7 last
DE Consumer confidence (Mar) +4.4 +4.8
SE Trade balance (Jan) SEK11.1bn SEK14.1bn
* 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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