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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:05 EST

Key Points
• Global market sentiment remains fragile – risk of more weakness over the coming week.
• JPY risk remains to the upside, but sentiment will be fickle in response to daily movements in equity markets.
• EUR-USD fails to benefit from weak US data, suggesting ongoing positional downside risk.
• Eurozone PMIs, UK CBI retail sales & mortgage approvals,
• US core PCE prices and ISM amongst today’s features – Japanese CPI and consumer spending tonight.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s tentative stabilisation in global markets has continued in Europe this morning, although most Asian indices were lower. After the magnitude of the moves seen on Tuesday, it seems unlikely that this affair will blow over without further incident, although how things pan out is clearly a point of uncertainty. Does it happen immediately or does the market need to see higher levels to provoke the fresh selling required to drive the next downmove? Overall the bias remains down in the short-term and this will mean ongoing upside risk for the JPY.

The JPY’s reaction to tonight’s Japanese CPI and consumer spending data (see below for preview) is likely to be dictated by what happens to global markets today. Support on USD-JPY is at 117.50-118.00, while below 155.75 would leave EUR-JPY vulnerable.

Yesterday, we noted that any area where positioning is excessive could prove vulnerable in an environment where risk is being taken off the table – EUR-USD being one such area. Furthermore, any pullback from emerging markets should also see the USD benefit from a move back into the USD investor base. The slight complication is that yesterday’s bad data news was all from the US, which on the face of it should cause damage to the USD. However, it was also striking that EURUSD failed to respond that positively to the news, suggesting that positional risk is still on the downside.

The ISM number today will be influential in this regard, but if there is further sharp fallout in global markets, EUR-USD may once again struggle. A move above 1.3260 is needed to suggest that such positional constraints are being overcome.

Data released this morning has been GBP supportive, with UK mortgage approvals and PMI manufacturing data both coming out ahead of market expectations and CBI sales holding up reasonably well in February after the very strong showing seen in January. This will help to bolster resistance on EUR-GBP at 0.6760. Data in the Eurozone was fairly neutral.

Day Ahead
US – the ISM for the manufacturing sector and the January core PCE prices index are today’s main features. Yesterday’s weak Chicago PMI will have promoted the expectation that ISM will once again run in below 50. The 0.3% rise in core CPI released last week will leave the market on the lookout for a similarly strong reading from the core PCE prices number. However, the core CPI ex-shelter measure, which tends to have a better correlation with core PCE prices, rose 0.2%. Any strength today should be put in the context of the weakness seen in recent months, although it would be bad timing given current financial market anxieties and the news of weaker activity in the US. The media is naturally attracted to the term ‘stagflation’, even though the word is frequently misused.

Japan – CPI, consumer spending and unemployment are due tonight and the main focus will be on consumer spending and CPI. The recent BoJ tightening was conducted on the precept that consumer spending will eventually recover, although recent evidence has been patchy. CPI is in danger of slipping in the months ahead, with the CPI ex-fresh foods y/y rate set to move towards the much weaker y/y rate (-0.3% currently) for CPI ex-food and energy. The tone of these releases will be significant for the credibility of the latest tightening move, although the impact on the JPY will also be driven by what is happening in global markets.

Australia – retail sales are due tonight and a rebound looks likely after the more subdued showing of last month. This will help to further shore up the data backdrop following the strength of the private sector credit number released yesterday, although appetite for the AUD will remain limited while risk is being reined back in global markets.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Challenger layoffs (Feb) y/y 07.30 -39.1%
US Personal income (Jan) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US PCE (Jan) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US Core PCE price index (Jan) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US Core PCE price index (Jan) y/y 08.30 +2.3%
CA Current account (Q4) 08.30 +C$6.2bn
CA Industrial PI (Jan) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
CA Raw materials PI (Jan) m/m 08.30 -2.1%
US Initial claims (w/e Feb 24) 08.30 325k
US Continuing claims (w/e Feb 17) 08.30 2509k last
US ISM manu (Feb) 10.00 50.0
JP CPI Tokyo ex-fresh food (Feb) y/y 18.30 +0.1%
JP CPI Nat ex-fresh food (Jan) y/y 18.30 0.0%
JP CPI Nat ex-food & energy (Jan) y/y 18.30 -0.3% last
JP Unemployment rate (Jan) 18.30 4.1%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Jan) 18.30 1.08
JP Overall PCE (Jan) y/y 18.30 -0.3%
JP Monetary base (Feb) y/y 18.50 -21.5%
AU Retail trade (Jan) m/m 19.30 +0.5%
AU Current account (Q4) 19.30 -A$14bn
JP Labour earnings (Jan) y/y 20.30 +0.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU Private new capex (Q4) q/q +1.0% +3.5%
SE PMI manu (Feb) 63.1 60.4
SE GDP (Q4) q/q +1.2% +1.2%
CH PMI manu (Feb) 63.5 62.4
IT PMI manu (Feb) 54.2 53.8
FR PMI manu (Feb) 53.4 52.9
DE PMI manu (Feb) 57.2 58.5
EU PMI manu (Feb) 55.6 55.7
NO Retail sales (Jan) m/m +1.1% +0.6%
NO Unemployment rate (Feb, nsa) 2.2% 2.0%
GB PMI manu (Feb) 55.4 53.0
GB Consumer credit (Jan) +£1.1bn +£0.9bn
GB Net lending sec’d on dwellings (Jan) +£9.6bn +£10.0bn
GB Mortgage approvals (Jan, sa) 120k 115k
EU CPI (Feb, flash est) y/y +1.8% +1.9%
IT CPI (Feb, prel) y/y +1.9% +1.7%
GB CBI retail trades survey (Feb) +19% +30% last
* 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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