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Friday April 13, 2007 - 13:34:37 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:15 EDT

Key Points
• ECB’s Trichet said the bank is eyeing inflation risks “very closely”, would not try to change expectations of a June rate hike.
• Short-covering in the JPY seen in Europe.
• US trade balance, PPI and University of Michigan sentiment data due today. G7 meeting kicks off.

Market Outlook

The EUR-USD remains on a firm footing and looks set to challenge 1.3550 and potentially $1.3600. The $1.3500 level remains intra-day support. The ECB kept interest rates at 3.75% on Thursday as expected. The Governing Council said in its policy statement it would continue to monitor risks to price stability "very closely" and ECB President Trichet’s comments were as explicit as one could hope for. The market is pricing in a June hike to 4% and he said “I would not say today anything that would be aiming at changing expectations for the month of June”. Trichet noted that the ECB takes into account currency strength in its decision-making process but declined to answer specific questions about whether the EUR level reflects the fundamentals and whether its appreciation has helped to tighten monetary conditions. There is the chance of some reprieve for the USD today if core PPI comes in stronger than the 0.2% expected or if Michigan consumer sentiment report is a lot stronger than market forecasts. But the risk is that the trade deficit data disappoints, dragging the USD down further.

The G7 meeting kicks off this weekend and the JPY is seeing some short-covering this morning on the expectation that some jawboning will be seen from European finance ministers but it seems unlikely that anything significant will emerge. With USDJPY back below 120, the Fed seems fairly content as Bernanke’s comments earlier in the week underlined. The JPY pullback this morning has been relatively rapid, taking USD-JPY back below ¥118.40 in European trading, with ¥118 in view and some scope to see ¥117.20 trendline support tested. EUR-JPY has turned back through ¥160, which leaves the ¥159 area open on the downside. Last week’s low is key to hold to avoid a near term reversal at ¥156.94.

New Zealand – retail sales came in much stronger than expected, rising 1.9% m/m in February and 6.4% y/y, well above market forecasts. Ex-auto retail sales were even stronger, up 2.3% m/m. The RBNZ has stated that there needs to be evidence of moderation in domestic demand to avert the risk of further policy tightening, there was no sign of that here. NZD-USD jumped from near 0.7300 immediately before the release towards the 0.7377 May 2005 high, with risk of a drive towards the 0.7467 March 2005 peak (the highest level since the early 1980’s). The NZD-JPY cross faded after hitting a record high of 87.60 in early trading, but the JPY has since firmed back through the old 87.09 December 2005 peak. To keep the recent rally intact, the old highs from late February at 85.88-85.80 will need to hold.

Day Ahead
US – The trade deficit is due. This has been generally softer than expected in recent months, although with oil prices on the rise through February, there is a risk of a higher number on this occasion. However, it will take an unusual outcome to affect the USD, with the market’s focus primarily on cyclical issues at the present time. Still, given current USD fragilities, the market may be more responsive to bad rather than good news on trade. Core PPI needs to revert back to a more regular +0.2% m/m pattern to offset the mild concerns expressed after last month’s +0.4% showing but watch out for volatility in car and truck prices. Michigan sentiment slumped back last month, albeit from the relatively high level seen in February and there will be interest in whether this has developed any further.

Canada – the trade data will show whether the recent improvement in exports, which hit a record C$40.76bn in January, has continued.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Trade balance (Feb) 08.30 -$60.0bn
US PPI (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.7%
US PPI core (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
CA Trade balance (Feb) 08.30 C$6.0bn
CA Exports (Feb) m/m 08.30 +0.9% last
US Michigan sentiment (Apr, prel) 10.00 87.5
G7 G7 fin min meeting in Washington

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Retail sales (Feb) m/m +1.9% +0.5% last
FR CPI (Mar, prel) y/y +1.2% +1.2%
ES CPI (Mar) y/y +2.5% +2.4%
EU Ind prod (Feb) m/m +0.6% +0.4%
* 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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