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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:20 EDT

Key Points
• EUR-USD, cable lower after USD-JPY breaks 119.00.
• JPY weak in general – tonight’s data will be key in determining whether this develops further in the short-term.
• RBNZ raises rates by 25bp and says exchange rate strength unjustified.
• BoC Monetary Policy Report, Japanese data feature.2

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has fallen back in European trading, with the strength in USD-JPY the main factor. USD-JPY was testing 119.05 resistance early on in Europe and when it finally broke above that level EUR-JPY was dragged higher initially, recording a fresh high of 162.55 in the process. However, this was not sustained and EUR-USD fell away after breaking near-term support in the 1.3625-30 area. The slow upside progress on EUR-USD in recent weeks is symptomatic of a market that is already well positioned for such a move and in this environment some further consolidation could be seen. Important levels on the downside are at 1.3585 and 1.3540 ahead of the main short-term support area at 1.3460-1.3500. Cable has also been under pressure this morning and the levels to look out for are Tuesday’s low of 1.9955 ahead of support at 1.9900-30.

There is little of relevance on the US data schedule today (apart from jobless claims) and US releases seen so far this week have been mixed – soft housing, a rebound in durable orders and a slightly improved Beige Book.

JPY weakness has been a continuing feature overnight, with market sentiment in general still being driven by yield considerations. USD-JPY will retain some element of upside risk as long as it stays above 119.00, although progress may be a little cautious for the remainder of today given the important Japanese releases scheduled for tonight (see below for preview). The tone of key releases like CPI and/or consumer spending will be significant in determining whether JPY weakness can extend further in the short-term.

The RBNZ raised rates by a further 25bp, citing ongoing strength in housing and domestic demand and some accelerating inflation pressure in the non-tradables sector i.e. those categories that are not influenced by the exchange rate or commodity prices. They made no comment on what could happen to rates in future, leaving the market with theimpression that there is no longer a tightening bias, although until the data shows signs of weakening the risk of further tightening will remain in place. Significantly, they also commented on the recent strength in the NZD, stating that “the exchange rate is now at levels that are both exceptional by historical standards, and unjustified on the basis of medium-term fundamentals.” The solid yield backdrop suggests the likelihood of further NZD strength eventually, although a move above 0.7500 is required to establish some fresh momentum and until this happens there is a risk of some corrective activity. 0.7365-85 is key short-term support.

EUR-SEK has eased up a little further this morning, with a strong consumer confidence report supplementing the more positive news flow of recent weeks (reassessment of Riksbank
expectations, government appointing advisers for TeliaSonera stake sale). However, 9.16 needs to break to see thisextending further.

Day Ahead
Canada – the BoC Monetary Policy Report is released today and is likely to reflect the slightly more hawkish view extended after Tuesday’s policy announcement. At that meeting they highlighted the fact that inflation had been higher than expected in recent months, but stopped short of sending out any strong signals about the likelihood of any rate hikes in the foreseeable future. They would only say that while inflation risks were roughly balanced there was a slight ‘tilt to the upside’. A similar message looks likely today. Key today is whether USD-CAD can hold on to the sub-1.12 levels achieved yesterday. This may be difficult if USD strength develops elsewhere.

Japan – a whole host of numbers are due in Japan tonight, with CPI and consumer spending likely to attract the most attention and industrial output and labour market numbers also due. The y/y rate on the CPI ex-fresh foods category eased back into negative territory last month (-0.1%) for the first time since April last year and the market is looking for further slippage to -0.2%. The BoJ are likely to continue focusing on the medium-term outlook for inflation, but how quickly the y/y rate moves back into positive territory will be a key factor for market sentiment about policy prospects. Consumer spending improved a little further last month, continuing the rebound seen in Q4 after a very weak Q3. Whether or not this is sustained in coming months will also be significant for policy sentiment. The BoJ meeting tonight is unlikely to reveal any change in policy, while their twice-yearly report on the outlook for the economy and prices is likely to reiterate the belief that CPI will recover modestly over the coming two years.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Initial claims (w/e Apr 21) 08.30 330k
US Continuing claims (w/e Apr 14) 08.30 2531k last
CA BoC Monetary Policy Report 10.30
FR Unemployment rate (Mar) n/a 8.4%
JP CPI Tokyo ex-fresh food (Apr) y/y 19.30 0.0%
JP CPI Nat ex-fresh food (Mar) y/y 19.30 -0.2%
JP CPI Nat ex-food & energy (Mar) y/y 19.30 -0.3% last
JP Unemployment rate (Mar) 19.30 4.0%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Mar) 19.30 1.05
JP Overall PCE (Mar) m/m 19.30 +0.2% last
JP Overall PCE (Mar) y/y 19.30 +0.8%
JP Retail sales (Mar) y/y 19.50 -0.4%
JP Ind prod (Mar, prel) m/m 19.50 +1.0%
JP BoJ policy outcome unch
JP BoJ Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices 02.00

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ RBNZ rate announcement +25bp unch/+25bp
NZ Trade balance (Mar) +NZ$61m +NZ$50m
AU New home sales (Mar) m/m 0.0% +2.9% last
JP Small business confidence (Apr) 49.6 50.4 last
DE Import prices (Mar) y/y +0.9% +0.8%
GB N’wide house prices (Apr) m/m +0.9% +0.6%
DE Consumer confidence (May) +5.5 +4.7
FR Own company ind outlook (Apr) +14 +16
FR Business climate indicator (Apr) 111 109.0
SE Consumer confidence (Apr) +23.0 +16.7
NO Unemployment rate (Apr, nsa) 2.0% 2.0%
* 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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