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Monday April 2, 2007 - 11:18:05 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:20 EDT

Key Points
• This week’s ISM surveys & employment report will be significant for sentiment about Fed policy.
• The USD and the high-yield versus low-yield debate will also be affected by the data.
• Tankan slightly weaker but market impact limited.
• AUD helped by strong retail sales data.
• US ISM features today.

Market Outlook

The USD is finding its feet after Friday’s announcement by the US regarding the imposition of tariffs on imports of coated paper from China. Key to the ongoing market reaction will be how things subsequently develop. Is the move the first of several in a wide-scale attack by the US and/or will China respond by retaliating? News of heightened protectionism will be negative for investor confidence in the USD.

However, this week is primarily about the US economic data, with the ISMs for manufacturing and non manufacturing and the employment report all due. Collectively, this set of data will have a significant bearing on sentiment about the state of the US economy and the prospects for Fed policy in the months ahead. The USD will be sensitive to anything definitive in this regard, but other FX themes will also be affected. For example, any indications of resilience in the data will be helpful for equity markets and high-yielding over low-yielding currencies, while very negative data would hurt global market sentiment and undermine risk appetites. Weak US data will be needed to ensure further advances in EUR-USD.

The Tankan survey was slightly weaker than expected, although not by sufficient magnitude to disrupt BoJ policy expectations. As one can see from the chart, the levels of the major indices remain at levels that compare favourably with the experience since the early 1990s.

A strong set of retail sales and building approvals data out of Australia has pushed the AUD to new highs for this move with the market becoming more apprehensive about the risk of a rate hike at this week’s RBA meeting. For choice the RBA will most likely prefer to wait until they have seen the Q1 CPI data released later this month, although a number of indicators suggest that the policy tightening pursued thus far has not had a major impact, so a further immediate rate hike could easily be rationalised. The AUD looks set to advance further ahead of the decision on Tuesday night and as a high-yielder, AUD sentiment will also be affected by the interplay between global markets and today’s US ISM data.

Eurozone PMIs were slightly lower than expected, although this has done little to offset the recent modest hardening in ECB rate expectations. The market seems to be gradually coming round to the view, with which we would agree, that the next move to 4% will not be the last.

In the UK, the PMI manufacturing number was also slightly lower than expected, while the output price component slipped back to 55.5 from 56.9 last month, the latter being the highest since the series began in November 1999. The MPC will be sensitive to how manufacturing prices develop in the short-term as they are a potential lead indicator for some elements of core CPI. This latest news will only represent a slight moderation of such concerns. The CBI’s measure of output price expectations also stands at a 12-year high. Other data this morning showed that mortgage equity withdrawal rose to £14.6bn in Q4 up from £12.2bn in Q3. With Q4 household expenditure rising by £2.7bn in current price terms between Q3 and Q4, this morning’s data helps to show where much of the increase in spending has been sourced from and suggests some likely fragility in spending as and when the housing market starts to slow. EURGBP currently has support at 0.6750-75.

Day Ahead
US – markets will be highly sensitive to anything away from expectations on today’s ISM for manufacturing. Recent news like last week’s durable orders data has helped to convey negative signals about the manufacturing sector, but Friday’s Chicago PMI, not always the best of indicators, was a much stronger than expected 61.7. Last month’s NY and Philly Fed surveys were both subdued.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US ISM manu (Mar) 10.00 51.1
US Fed’s Poole on understanding inflation 13.00
JP Monetary base (Mar) y/y 19.50 -19.7%
AU Trade balance (Feb) 21.30 -A$1.1bn

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Tankan – large manu (Q1) +23 +24
JP Tankan – large manu outlook +20 +22
JP Tankan – large non-manu (Q1) +22 +23
JP Tankan – large non-manu outlook +23 +22
JP Capex plans (Q1) +2.9% +1.7%
AU Retail trade (Feb) m/m +0.9% +0.4%
AU Building approvals (Feb) m/m +10.6% +0.2%
SE PMI manu (Mar) 60.6 62.5
TR GDP (Q4) y/y +5.2% +4.2%
CH PMI manu (Mar) 62.0 63.6
IT PMI manu (Mar) 53.8 54.0
FR PMI manu (Mar) 53.8 54.0
DE PMI manu (Mar) 56.9 57.5
EU PMI manu (Mar) 55.4 55.7
GB PMI manu (Mar) 54.4 55.1
GB Mortgage equity withdrawal (Q4) £14.6bn £12.2bnR 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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