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Thursday April 5, 2007 - 11:07:26 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:05 EDT

Key Points
• Weak non-manufacturing ISM reduces probability of pre-weekend position liquidation boost for USD.
• GBP in focus ahead of close MPC outcome – manufacturing output unusually weak.
• AUD tests Dec 1996 high overnight.
• Canadian employment also features today.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s weaker than expected non-manufacturing ISM will maintain doubts about the health of economic activity in the US. Since the dark days of 2002, the 52.4 showing reported yesterday has only been undershot on two other occasions – March and April 2003, which were the psychologically fragile months of the Iraq war.

The data will probably be enough for the market to hang on to USD shorts and will give EUR-USD some extra protection in what could have been an awkward period ahead of the long weekend. With the employment report still to come tomorrow, today has the makings of a fairly quiet session, although there will be some focus on the equity market to see whether it can
maintain the resilience it displayed yesterday when presented
with the weak ISM number. Unless there is a very positive offset
from tomorrow’s employment report, equity markets may turn
back on the defensive next week.

GBP will most probably be the major focal point today, with the MPC set to announce their latest rate decision and the market uncertain about the outcome (see below for preview). Given this uncertainty, there is room for a reaction either way on GBP. Key short-term parameters on cable come in at 1.9715 and 1.9825, while 0.6745 and 0.6780 carry relevance on EUR-GBP. However, while cable is likely to slip back initially on an unchanged outcome – possible extension to 1.9675, decent support looks likely given that the USD side of cable is likely to remain soft. A rate hike would generate a proportionately greater response.

Data released this morning showed continuing strength in house prices, although official manufacturing output data was much weaker than expected. This is highly unusual as it is inconsistent with the very strong readings seen recently in the CBI manufacturing survey. The market will reserve judgement on this for now.

The AUD briefly tested close to the 0.8214 high from Dec 1996 last night (actual traded high was 0.8212). There is a chance of some near-term consolidation in the 0.80-0.82 area, given extended spec positioning and the possibility of some equity weakness. However, upside remains favoured overall and an

Day Ahead
UK – the main focal point will be the MPC rate announcement, with the market having become increasingly nervous about which way this will go. Because of the continuing subdued nature of wage growth, the MPC will probably view recent inflation news as being slightly favourable, although they will still see upside risk to CPI as a result of heightened price expectations in the manufacturing sector. The February Inflation Report indicated that a further rate hike would be required to keep inflation on target and while there is a risk of a move today, we would see a May move as being more likely, when the MPC has the opportunity to properly assess the situation via the preparation of the Inflation Report.

Canada – the March employment report is released today. There was a softer showing on headline employment last month (+14.2k) but this came after a very strong 88.9k the previous month and a fairly strong Q4. 1.1500-1.1640 range needs to break on USD-CAD to offer some near-term directional bias.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

Holiday in Norway, Denmark
GB MPC rate announcement 07.00 unch
CA Employment (Mar) 07.00 +11k
CA Unemployment rate (Mar) 07.00 6.1%
US Initial claims (w/e Mar 31) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Mar 24) 08.30 2527k last
CA PMI (Mar, nsa) 10.00 62.4

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB HBOS house prices (Mar) m/m +1.0% +0.5%
GB Ind prod (Mar) m/m -0.2% +0.2%
GB Manu output (Mar) m/m -0.6% +0.3%
DE Ind prod (Feb) m/m +0.9% -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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