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Thursday March 15, 2007 - 10:36:36 GMT
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Forex Research- Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:20 EST

Key Points
• Rebound in US equities leads to weaker JPY.
• Basic market volatility set to continue in the shortterm.
• SNB policy announcement, Eurozone CPI, Norges Bank meeting, US PPI, NY/Philly Fed indices, TIC portfolio data and Greenspan feature today.

Market Outlook

The sharp rebound in US equity indices during the US afternoon has allowed for calmer waters in the FX market, with the JPY weakening across the board. However, it seems unlikely that the market will yet be able to permanently put aside recent uncertainties, such as those relating to the US mortgage market. Indeed, given the magnitude of recent sell-offs, investors are likely to shy away from pursuing higher levels in the equity market and more liquidation could yet follow. We still take the view that conditions will eventually stabilise, as a major macro-economic disturbance seems unlikely, but there is clearly a need for some recuperation and during this period corrective activity could be sizeable. Indeed, current uncertainties about US mortgages will play on this corrective bias.

As far as FX markets are concerned the global market backdrop is likely to remain fragile in this regard, so periodic JPY strength can still materialise. As noted through this week, we are currently in a period of choppiness and volatility that is likely to persist in the short-term, with USD-JPY occupying a possible range running from 114.50 to 120.

Major direction will be difficult in this environment as investors may be reluctant to take on and hold the necessary positioning. There will need to be some good triggers to support such moves. EUR-USD is a case in point and the 1.3260-1.3300 area will have to break to encourage further long positioning. However, this seems unlikely and lower levels could follow if current positioning is forsaken. US data releases (see below for preview) will be watched today.

Not much news this morning, with the ECB monthly report merely reiterating the points made by Trichet at last week’s meeting. The report once again pointed to upside risk on prices and as if to emphasis the point the February core CPI (ex-fresh food and energy) number this morning came in slightly stronger than expected at +1.9% (highest since Dec 2004).

Day Ahead
Switzerland – the SNB are set to raise rates by 25bp at their quarterly review of policy - a move that is widely expected by the market. Impact should be limited.

Norway – the Norges Bank announce their latest policy decision and after recent comments about the need to fend off inflationary pressures, especially in the housing market, a further 25bp rate hike seems likely. Also watch for the Norges Bank’s forecast rate trajectory, which is currently aimed at gradually raising rates to just above 5%. This could be upgraded further. Depending upon the state of global markets and general risk appetite, this could leave EUR-NOK softer. Support is at 8.08 ahead of 8.0285 Feb 16 low.

US – there are a number of releases today including PPI, NY and Philly Fed indices, TIC portfolio data and weekly jobless claims. The status of the Fed surveys will directly feed into the debate about the extent of the current softening in the US manufacturing sector. There have been several pieces of contrasting information on manufacturing in recent months - ISM moving either side of the key 50 level, volatility in durable orders and last month’s Fed surveys (NY strong, Philly weak) diverging sharply. PPI data has been steady over the past couple of months at +0.2% m/m and is not currently a major to the inflation outlook. The tIC data,, while volatile, will be watched closely after the very poor figure seen last month. In December, net inflows to the US on long-term securities were a low $15.6bn, while overall there was a net outflow of $11bn. Greenspan also speaks today.

Canada– manufacturing shipments are due and these have rebounded over the past couple of months (+1.7% Dec, +2.4% Nov) after the weakness seen previously (-0.2% Oct, -3.1% Sep and -1% Aug). This has been one of the developments that have helped to stabilise sentiment towards the Canadian economy, although it remains to be seen whether Nov and Dec strength was merely due to unusually mild weather. 1.1680 or 1.1825 needs to break to offer some near-term directional bias on USD-CAD.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

NZ PMI manu (Feb) 07.01 56.0 last
US PPI (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US PPI core (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US NY Fed index (Mar) 08.30 +17.5
US Initial claims (w/e Mar 10) 08.30 328k
US Continuing claims (w/e Mar 3) 08.30 2526k last
CA Manu shipments (Jan) m/m 08.30 -0.3%
US TIC intl portfolio balance (Jan) 09.00 $70.0bn
CH SNB policy announcement 09.00 +25bp
NO Norges Bank policy outcome & Inf Report 09.00 +25bp
US Philly Fed index (Mar) 12.00 +4.0
US Greenspan speaks 12.30
JP Tertiary index (Jan) m/m 19.50 +1.1%
AU RBA’s Edey speaks 20.25

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU Employment (Feb) +22k +15k
AU Unemployment rate (Feb) 4.6% 4.5%
SE Unemployment rate (Feb, nsa) 4.8% 5.0%
NO Trade balance (Feb) NOK25.3bn NOK26bn
EU CPI (Feb) y/y +1.8% +1.8%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (Feb) y/y +1.9% +1.8% 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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