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Wednesday April 18, 2007 - 10:55:06 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:10 EDT

Key Points
• USD remains weak as developments in high-yielders leave it in the shade.
• Further cable strength looks likely initially.
• UK MPC minutes show hawkish bias – average earnings boosted by bonuses.

Market Outlook

DHigh yielders have certainly come back with a vengeance in recent weeks and this has more to do with positive developments in high-yielding countries rather than any deterioration in views about prospects in Japan. The dramatic developments seen this week in the UK (core PPI output and CPI well ahead of expectations) follow hawkish developments in both the AUD and the NZD over the past few weeks. The USD itself is no low-yielder, but has been unable to take part in this latest development because of continuing questions being raised about the status of the US economy. With such doubts still in place and rate hike expectations extending further in other high-yielders, there is clearly a window of opportunity for more broad-based USD weakness in the short-term. A run of stronger US data, particularly on the ISMs, is required to change these circumstances in the next few months.

UK average earnings data this morning was stronger than expected, although this was because of bonuses rather than any acceleration in basic pay. Earnings ex-bonuses were in line with expectations. The minutes of the Apr MPC meeting have helped to further reinforce rate hike expectations for May. The two hawks Sentance and Besley voted for a 25bp rate hike, which was of no great surprise, but the remainder of the committee seemed to be split into two camps. One saw uneven risks to most variables and a need to contemplate the situation further during the May Inflation Report. The other saw clear upside risks related to current pipeline inflation pressures, but thought that any change in rates would be better explained in the context of the May Inflation Report projections. A majority for a May rate hike seems assured and is it possible that the two main hawks could vote for a 50bp move after recent developments?

The UK MPC finds itself in a difficult situation. Primarily, they will be concerned about maintaining their overall credibility with regard to fighting inflation and will also be mindful of the fact that while recent CPI strength is likely to be transient (core CPI for example is only 1.9%) there is some evidence of an accumulation in core inflation pressure. Such examples range from the recent rise in core PPI output prices, survey evidence about rising inflation expectations amongst manufacturers and the fact that while core CPI is not that high at +1.9%, it has risen steadily from +1.1% in Q3 last year. A May hike is a done deal, but it is not clear that a further move beyond that will be required. However, until there is evidence of some weakness in PPI and/or signs that previous rate hikes are starting to have an impact on consumer spending, the market will continue to discount two 25bp hikes.

This should equate to further upside risk on cable in the very short-term, although conditions are likely to remain extremely volatile over the next week or so. The immediate barrier to any further upside is the high from September 1992, which depending on the database you look at ranges from 2.0100 through to 2.0130 (2.0134 traded very briefly this morning). On the plus side for GBP is the ongoing relative interest rate developments mentioned above, as well as the fact that the short-term market is probably not as long of cable as it was in January. This should mean further upside momentum initially, but the situation could reverse somewhat if such momentum does start to fade. On EUR-USD, the key level remains at 1.3666 (Dec 2004 high) and this looks like being tested in the short-term.T Wednesday June 8 2005

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Mortgage apps - purchases w/w 07.00 +2.7% last
CA Net portfolio balance (Feb) 08.30 -C$11.5bn
EU ECB’s Trichet speaks 10.00
JP Tertiary index (Feb) m/m 19.50 -0.4%
CN GDP (Q1) y/y 20.00 +10.4%
CN CPI (Mar) y/y 20.00 +2.8%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Apr 15) -5 -7 last
NZ CPI (Q1) q/q +0.5% +0.6%
NZ CPI (Q1) y/y +2.5% +2.6%
AU Consumer sentiment (Apr) m/m -0.2% +3.7% last
GB Claimant count (Mar) -9.2k -5k
GB ILO unemp 3m ave (Feb) m/m +21k -3k last
GB LFS employm’t 3m ave (Feb) m/m -47k +18k last
GB Average earnings (Feb) 3m y/y +4.6% +4.2%
GB Earnings ex-bonuses (Feb) 3m y/y +3.6% +3.6%
GB MPC minutes (Apr 4-5 meeting) 7-2
* 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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