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Monday April 23, 2007 - 12:30:26 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:20 EDT

Key Points
• JPY receives small fillip from S&P upgrade.
• Markets well positioned for current news backdrop.
• US and Japanese data feature this week.
• Australian inflation data in focus today.

Market Outlook

S&P raised Japan’s foreign and local currency ratings to AA from AA-, citing modest improvements on bad loans, price stability, structural reform and the fiscal outlook. The news prompted only a modest market reaction, although the JPY did strengthen later in the Asian session. As is typically the case, ratings agency actions are often responses to developments the market is already well aware of.

The broad situation in the FX market looks similar to last week. In terms of high yield versus low yield and overall USD bearishness, little has changed, but with the market already well positioned for this scenario, further progress could be slow and there would be a risk of corrective activity if any news were to appear that threatens this consensus. Key factors this week include Friday’s CPI & consumer spending data in Japan and housing, durables and GDP data in the US.

Latest IMM positioning data showed that as of last Tuesday net spec EUR-USD longs advanced further to a new record high of 106,770 contracts from 104,394 the previous week. Net USDJPY longs rose to 70,519 contracts from 64,841, although this remains well below the highs of January when it reached 173,005. The EUR positioning represents a constraint on EURUSD upside and would also explain why current progress remains very slow. However, a change in news flow (i.e. back in the USD’s favour) is perhaps needed to nullify current upside and to introduce some liquidation pressure. The JPY positioning is no constraint to USD-JPY upside, but here too some USD positive news flow is required to encourage upward movement.

UK money and mortgage lending data this morning was fairly uneventful. Mortgage lending was a touch softer than in recent months and this could develop a little further in the months ahead given the easing in Q1 mortgage approvals after a strong Q4. However, at this stage it is not significant enough to alter current expectations in the UK money market. Cable is consolidating after the initial push seen last week and this could see it revisiting the 1.9900-40 area at some point today. However, GBP is likely to remain in favour ahead of next month’s MPC meeting & Inflation Report, so more upside looks likely overall. MPC members testify in front of a Treasury Select Committee tomorrow.

Day Ahead
Australia – Q1 CPI is due this evening and a weak number will be required to neutralise the threat of a May rate hike. The RBA is primarily focused on the medium-term outlook for inflation rather than what is happening presently and that longer view is being supported by strength in spending, credit growth and the labour market. However, weaker than expected PPI output today, which hurt the AUD, is one piece of evidence suggesting a lack of follow through inflation pressure. We still like the AUD overall, but after this morning’s break below 0.8340 there is some corrective risk, suggesting the possibility of having better levels to buy in at. 0.8280 is the next support.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP CSPI (Mar) y/y 19.50 +0.2%
AU CPI (Q1) q/q 21.30 +0.6%
AU CPI (Q1) y/y 21.30 +3.0%
AU CPI mkt prices ex-volatile (Q1) y/y 21.30 +2.6%
AU CPI-RBA trimmed-mean (Q1) y/y 21.30 +2.8%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU PPI output (Q1) q/q 0.0% +0.6%
AU PPI output (Q1) y/y +2.8% +3.5%
GB M4 (Mar) y/y +12.8% +12.5%
GB M4 lending (Mar) y/y +13.5% +14.4% last
GB BBA mortgage lending (Mar) +£5.1bn +£5.2bn 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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