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Tuesday April 24, 2007 - 10:37:10 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:10 EDT

Key Points
• Weak Australian CPI suggests RBA will leave policy on hold for now, but tightening bias will remain.
• Corrective forces grip the AUD and could spread further today.
• The tone of today’s US data (consumer confidence, existing home sales, house prices) will also be significant for the USD in general.
• UK CBI survey and BoC policy announcement also due.

Market Outlook

We noted yesterday that it would take a weak Australian CPI number to neutralise the threat of a May RBA rate hike and this duly appeared earlier this morning. If the RBA wants to raise rates they could still rationalise such a move with reference to the robust showings seen in the labour market, retail spending and credit growth, in addition to the fact that core CPI measures remain elevated. However, while a tightening bias will remain in place, the weakness in both PPI and CPI data this week gives them room for manoeuvre, so an unchanged rate decision now looks likely in May.

It was also noted yesterday that markets were already well positioned for themes such as high-yield over low-yield as well as general USD bearishness and that if any news were to emerge that threatened this consensus, liquidation pressure could set in. This is now the risk with the AUD and a pullback to at least 0.8150 looks likely. Any corrective move could extend close to the recent breakout point at 0.80, although there should be good support on any approaches to 0.8000-50 as the AUD’s high-yield attractions will remain intact. Resistance is now set in the 0.8280-0.8300 area.

The JPY strengthened initially after the Australian CPI data, but this was more than reversed in Europe. Hesitant trading looks likely on the JPY for much of this week, with the market likely to await Friday’s CPI and consumer spending data. Any further pullback in the AUD could also weigh on JPY crosses and this will probably be the main focal point today.

The Australian data also seemed to upset EUR-USD a little (reaching as low as 1.3548) although it has since recovered to pre-data levels. 1.3585 is the immediate level of resistance on the topside, while support at 1.3525-50 needs to break to raise the threat of a test of the 1.3460 latest breakout point. With corrective forces in the air, today’s US data (see below) may need to be weak to prevent some near-term USD strength.

Cable has tested 1.9955 twice overnight but bounced back towards the end of the morning, with GBP seemingly attracting interest against the JPY. However, 1.9955 may be retested later today and a break of that level would clear the way for a test of 1.9900-30. However, GBP should retain good overall support. The tone of the UK CBI survey (see below) will also be significant for GBP. Comments from MPC members this morning, who were testifying in front of a parliamentary committee, failed to add anything new to market thinking.

Day Ahead
UK – because of the MPC testimony, the CBI survey (monthly and quarterly versions) has been put back to a 09.15 EDT release time. In the recent monthly CBI surveys, output, orders and domestic output price expectations have all been firming, with orders the highest since Mar 1995 and price expectations the highest since May 1995. However, the recent quarterly BCC survey seemed to raise some question marks over these findings, so there will be some interest in whether the recent reported strength has been maintained, especially on price expectations.

Canada – the BoC are likely to leave rates unchanged at today’s policy announcement but the key focus will be on whether they offer any upgrade to their assessment of inflationary risks given ongoing strength in the labour market. Thursday’s Monetary Policy Report will also be watched for the same reasons. A major change of view seems unlikely at the present time.

US – in the US the focus will be on consumer confidence, existing home sales and house prices. The level of house prices has been falling since July and this looks set to continue in the short-term, which will equate to the y/y rate moving further into negative territory. Existing home sales and new home sales have been painting contrasting pictures of the housing market over the past couple of months. Existing home sales have bounced back reasonably well, while new home sales have fallen sharply. The market will be interested in seeing which is telling the most accurate story. Both the main consumer sentiment numbers have weakened over the past month or so, albeit from reasonably good levels, so whether or not this has continued will be a factor.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Apr 21) w/w 07.45 -0.6% last
CA Leading indicator (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US Redbook sls (w/e Apr 21) m/m 08.55 -4.0% last
CA BoC policy announcement 09.00 unch
US S&P/CS house prices (Feb) y/y 09.00 -0.2% last
BE Business confidence (Apr) 09.00 +2.0
GB CBI qtrly & mthly trends survey 09.15
US Consumer confidence (Apr) 10.00 105.0
US Existing home sales (Mar) 10.00 6.40m
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Apr 22) 17.00 -5 last
Market Holiday (tomorrow) – AU and NZ
JP Trade balance (Mar, sa) 19.50 ¥947bn

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP CSPI (Mar) y/y +0.6% +0.2%
AU CPI (Q1) q/q +0.1% +0.6%
AU CPI (Q1) y/y +2.4% +3.0%
AU CPI mkt prices ex-volatile (Q1) y/y +2.2% +2.6%
AU CPI-RBA trimmed-mean (Q1) y/y +2.7% +2.8%
AU CPI-RBA weighted median (Q1) +2.7% +2.9%
IT Consumer confidence (Apr) 107.8 112.8
EU Current account (Feb) €1.1bn €1.1bn
IT Retail sales (Feb) m/m +0.2% +0.3%
GB PSNCR (Mar) £17.2bn £15.9bn
EU Manu orders (Feb) m/m -0.7% +1.0%
* 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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