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Tuesday May 1, 2007 - 10:49:06 GMT
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Forex Research- Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:25 EDT

Key Points
• USD remains soft ahead of key releases – ISM manufacturing today’s main feature.
• USD-CAD support 1.1030-50 – US data will be significant.
• Strong UK CBI retail sales data. GBP is essentially waiting for the May Inflation Report.
• US pending home sales also due today – RBA rate announcement tonight.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s Chicago PMI number was not that weak and recent showings have been volatile and out of sync with the full ISM. However, the USD weakness seen after the data perhaps shows which direction the market is more nervous about at the current time. Weak manufacturing ISM data today would open up some further topside for EUR-USD, although the pace of any gains may be limited, not only by existing positioning, but also by the fact that the non-manufacturing ISM and the employment report would be still to come this week. Any unexpected strength in today’s data would trigger a USD rebound, given how long of EUR-USD the market has already become. See below for a preview of today’s US data.

Cable is likely to follow EUR-USD for the time being, although UK data this morning has been supportive. The CBI retail sales survey for April showed a strong picture for spending with the balance of those reporting y/y growth in sales volumes reaching its highest level (+44) since May 2004. Y/y growth will have been boosted by the warm weather through April, but it will help maintain a hawkish perspective on the MPC. The manufacturing PMI was broadly in line with market expectations. The headline number has been better over the past few months – more consistent with the generally strong showings in the CBI survey but out of tune with the weak official data on manufacturing. The component for output prices bounced back to 56.8 and just short of the record high of 56.9 seen in February (the series hasonly been going since November 1999).

Key for GBP in the weeks ahead will be the message advanced in the May 16 Inflation Report (a rate hike next week being already discounted). This will determine how rate expectations for the rest of this year develop. The kind of data released today will help support hawkish expectations ahead of that event, although PPI and CPI data between now and then will also be significant.

USD-CAD slipped lower yesterday following a solid monthly GDP release. However, it still looks too early to start calling for a BoC rate hike. Recent CAD outperformance has also been due to a gradual erosion of the net short CAD positioning built up earlier in the year. Further generalised USD weakness will be required to push it below 1.1000 and there is some buffer support at yesterday’s low of 1.1050 and the 1.1032 low from Sep 1 last year. There is intra-day support at 1.1080 and above 1.1110 is needed to generate some near-term stabilisation.

Day Ahead
US – the ISM for the manufacturing sector will be highly significant for sentiment about the US economy, interest rate expectations and the USD. The ISM has been generally soft since September, but has yet to consistently move into territory (i.e. below 50) that suggests a meaningful contraction in the sector. Two sub-50 readings have been recorded in recent months (49.9 in Nov, 49.3 in Jan), but something weaker than this will be required to suggest that the negatives for manufacturing originating in the housing sector are offsetting the resilience elsewhere. Pending home sales have been showing some tentative signs of stabilisation in the housing market, but it is not that convincing just yet. The series continues to be a fairly good guide to existing home sales.

Australia – the RBA announce their latest decision on rates and while some further tightening could be justified given the ongoing strength seen in credit growth (latest data out earlier today), spending and the labour market, the recent CPI weak data has given them some room for manoeuvre to leave policy on hold for now to see how things develop over the coming quarter. Later in the week the RBA also unveil their quarterly Monetary Policy Statement and this is likely to confirm that a tightening bias remains in place. It is far too early to call an end to the RBA rate hike cycle. The AUD remains in consolidative mode and depending on general USD sentiment, corrective moves could extend to 0.8150 or 0.8030. This should be temporary however.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

Market Holiday – most European markets (not UK), China & HK
US Chain store sls (w/e Apr 28) w/w 07.45 -0.3% last
CA Industrial PI (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.8%
CA Raw materials PI (Mar) m/m 08.30 +1.5%
US Redbook sls (w/e Apr 28) m/m 08.55 -4.2% last
US Pending home sales (Mar) m/m 10.00 +0.1%
US ISM manu (Apr) 10.00 51.0
US Fed’s Bernanke spks on free trade 11.00
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Apr 29) 17.00 -7 last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 unch
JP Monetary base (Apr) y/y 19.50 -12.2%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Labour earnings (Mar) y/y -0.4% -0.2%
GB PMI manu (Apr) 53.9 54.0
GB CBI retail trades survey (Apr) +44 +32 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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