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Wednesday April 4, 2007 - 10:25:25 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:00 EDT

Key Points
• Global markets advance further, some USD shorts being squeezed.
• The tone of the US data will continue to drive sentiment.
• US non-manufacturing ISM today’s main feature.
• RBA leaves rates unchanged, but AUD prospects remain positive.

Market Outlook

Global markets have continued to improve over the past 24 hours, in part due to the ongoing relief about the avoidance of a very weak ISM number on Monday. Yesterday’s rise in pending home sales was also well timed. In keeping with the rise in investor risk appetites, the JPY has been weak during this period and higher yielding currencies have remained well supported. Another consequence has been a recovery in the USD, with those having previously bet against the USD on the basis of prospective US economic weakness (particularly on EUR-USD) being squeezed out of positioning. EUR-USD was already showing an inability to push on from the high 1.33s and this fading momentum has also contributed to the pullback.

However, the market will remain fickle with regard to US economic news and anything negative from today’s US non-manufacturing ISM or Friday’s employment report would have the potential to see some reversal in the developments of the past day or so. If on the other hand a further solid data release is seen today, this is likely to promote further ‘short USD’ liquidation ahead of the weekend and ongoing support for high yield over low yield currencies. 1.3250-60 is the key support area on EUR-USD and USD-JPY (which will retain upside risk while above 118.50) has resistance at 119.00 (low from Feb 17) and 120.00. An additional point of uncertainty for next week will be the G7 meeting on Apr 13-14, which may limit JPY downside.

The AUD weakened for a time after the RBA decided to leave rates unchanged, reaching a low of 0.8065 before bouncing back. While there is disappointment for the money drawn into the AUD this week, purely on the speculation about a rate hike at this meeting, the AUD should retain strong support as the market will maintain the view about a rate rise in May. The April 24 Q1 CPI report is the only barrier to such a move and it seems unlikely that this will be weak enough to offset the strength seen in other data – retail sales, private sector credit, employment and wages. Improving global market sentiment should also be a positive for the AUD, while hedging demand is also a possibility while it stays above 0.80. A test of the Dec 1996 high at 0.8214 is likely to follow in the next couple of weeks. Forthcoming US data releases and the reaction of global markets to this data will be significant to how things develop. *

Day Ahead
US – the non-manufacturing ISM data is the key feature, although factory orders, weekly mortgage applications and the ADP employment estimate are also due. While Monday’s ISM manufacturing number stayed above the key 50 level it is still painting a picture of subdued manufacturing activity, so evidence of offsetting strength in the rest of the economy would be desirable. However, last month the ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 54.3, the lowest level seen since April 2003 (Iraq war), so it is important that such weakness is corrected. Factory orders will reveal revised estimates of the recent durable orders data, which was weak. Weekly mortgage applications have stabilised over the past month or so, led primarily by ‘refinancing’ rather than mortgages for house purchase. The ADP employment estimate is not the most reliable of indicators for the official payrolls data, although the market may still be slightly sensitive to ay unusual developments.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Mortgage apps – purchases w/w 07.00 +0.1% last
US Challenger layoffs (Mar) y/y 07.30 -3.9% last
US ADP employment (Mar) 08.15 +135k
CA Building permits (Feb) m/m 08.30 -6.5%
US ISM non-manu (Mar) 10.00 55.0
US Factory orders (Feb) m/m 10.00 +1.8%
US Fed’s Fisher on econ 12.30

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Apr 1) -5 -2 last
AU RBA rate announcement unch Split unch/+25bp
IT PMI services (Mar) 54.1 56.4
FR PMI services (Mar) 59.2 59.1
DE PMI services (Mar) 57.5 57.4
EU PMI services (Mar) 57.4 57.5
GB PMI services (Mar) 57.6 57.5
EU Retail sales (Feb) m/m +0.3% +0.5%
DE Manu orders (Feb) m/m +3.9% +0.5%
* 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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