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Tuesday March 13, 2007 - 11:36:23 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:40 EST

Key Points
• USD-JPY subdued overnight and key today is whether 117.00-25 support can hold. Downside favoured.
• EUR-USD downside also likely given positional backdrop, although today’s data could influence.
• GBP will retain a risk premium in a volatile JPY environment.
• US retail and business sales feature today.

Market Outlook

Markets remain focussed on the JPY. USD-JPY has been softovernight, but remains above key support in the 117.00-25 area. A bounce from this area is needed today to bolster confidence, whereas a break lower would signal a further pullback in the very short-term. The second of these scenarios is favoured. A neckline to a potential head and shoulders on the hourly chart comes in at 117.24, although secondary support is at 116.95-117.00. 117.60-80 is the area on the upside that needs to break to trigger a move up towards recent highs in the 118.35-50 area. Choppy volatile trading rather than any meaningful direction seems likely over the next few weeks, with a 115-120 range most likely to contain action on USD-JPY.

EUR-USD has been unable to build on yesterday’s gains and a move above 1.3200 is needed to allow some upside. The uncertain JPY environment is not a conducive one for major EUR-USD movement, especially on the upside given the amount of spec net long EUR positioning still in place. However, today’s data could have an impact. This morning’s slightly better than expected ZEW pushed EUR-USD up a little, while US retail sales is also due today. Because of the positional backdrop, downside remains favoured on EUR-USD.

JPY movement will have implications for other currencies, most notably GBP, which was on the receiving end of the JPY appreciation seen yesterday. Indeed, as long as the threat of JPY volatility remains in place, GBP will retain something of a risk premium. GBP was noticeably unable to sustain the advances seen in the immediate aftermath of this morning’s lower than expected UK trade deficit. EUR-GBP has risk towards 0.6865. 1.9250 and 1.9185 are the important parameters on cable and are also at risk.

Day Ahead
US – retail sales data will be watched to see how consumer spending is holding up, although it has been fairly robust in recent months, in line with the elevated readings generally seen in surveys of consumer sentiment. There is a risk of a weak number today with harsh weather in February (compared to January) having left most store sales below expectations. Business sales and inventories data are also released (for January) and there is a slight risk of a weaker sales number after the generally stronger readings seen over the previous two months (+1.4% Dec, +0.5% Nov).

Australia – consumer sentiment is out tonight and has risen in each of the last three months. The consumer sentiment index is now back at the 111.4 level last seen in April 2006, which is also the highest since August 2005. However, while the data will influence RBA rate expectations, the AUD will primarily be concerned with what is happening to the JPY.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Mar 10) w/w 07.45 -0.4% last
US Retail sales (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US Retail sales ex-autos (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US Redbook sls (w/e Mar 10) m/m 08.55 -1.1% last
US Business inventories (Jan) m/m 10.00 +0.2%
US Business sales (Jan) m/m 10.00 +1.4% last
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Mar 11) 17.00 -1 last
AU Consumer sentiment (Mar) 19.30 +1.7% last
JP Ind prod (Jan, final) m/m 00.30 -1.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Federal budget (Feb) -$120bn -$123bn
NZ Retail sales (Jan) m/m +0.5% +0.2%
GB RICS house prices (Feb) +24% +28% last
AU ANZ job ads (Feb) m/m +3.4% -0.1% last
CN CPI (Feb) y/y +2.7% +2.8%
ES CPI (Feb) y/y +2.4% +2.5%
GB Global trade balance (Jan) -£6.2bn -£6.95bn
GB Non-EU trade balance (Jan) -£3.7bn -£4.3bn
DE ZEW expectations (Mar) +5.8 +3.2
EU ZEW expectations (Mar) +5.1 +4.5
* 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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