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Thursday May 3, 2007 - 10:53:00 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:30 EDT

Key Points
• Markets waiting for more US data – non-manufacturing ISM today, payrolls tomorrow.
• Upside risk for USD unless weak numbers are seen.
• UK PMI services slightly disappointing – King notes importance and complexities of money data.

Market Outlook

The USD is a little weaker in a fairly quiet overnight session, with Japan and China on holiday for the remainder of the week and the market waiting for more information about the US Economy – today’s non-manufacturing ISM and tomorrow’s employment report. The market remains slightly sceptical about the strength of this week’s ISM manufacturing report, but this data is still likely to help the USD in the short-term if there is no offset from data releases today or tomorrow. See below for a preview of today’s data. Intra-day resistance on EUR-USD is set at 1.3625-40, while supports are at 1.3560 and 1.3540 ahead of the main short-term support area at 1.3460-1.3500. Downside is favoured in the short-term, unless there are big US data disappointments today or tomorrow.

The UK PMI services index, which is closely watched by the MPC, eased back further in April to 57.2 (lowest since September) and away from the highs seen in Q4 (when it stayed above 59.0). The strength in Q4 was a key factor behind the rate hikes conducted in both November and January. The prices charged’ component was also a little lower this morning, falling back to 53.9 (lowest since December) from the high 55.3 level seen in March. The implications are similar to those from yesterday’s mortgage approvals data. The report is not dramatically weak and there is unlikely to be much impact on expectations about a rate hike at next week’s MPC meeting, but it does raise a slight question mark over how far policy needs to be tightened beyond this. Despite the strength in housing in London and the South-East, much of it related to ‘global’ factors like financial market bonuses and inflows of foreign capital, we still have doubts about how the rest of the country will stand up to further extended policy tightening. Two 25bp rate hikes are already fully discounted for September.

However, the impact on UK rate expectations has been limited, with the latter supported this morning by comments made late yesterday by BoE governor King. He alluded to the notion that money data (currently strong) could be a better lead indicator for policy. However, he did note that monetary issues were driven by complex factors on both the demand and the supply side of the market and that more research was needed in the area. Corrective risk remains in place on cable in the absence of any US data weakness over the next couple of days, while EUR-GBP needs to break out of a 0.6800-50 range to suggest some near-term directional bias.

Day Ahead
US – non-manufacturing ISM is today’s main feature and this series has been showing weakness in recent times, with last month’s reading of 52.4 the weakest since April 2003 (Iraq war). A soft number will be required to offset Tuesday’s stronger than expected ISM manufacturing number, while any strength will supplement improving perceptions about the US economy. The employment component will also be watched closely after recent weakness. Q1 productivity and unit labour costs data is also out today and the latter will be watched for inflationary signals.

Australia – the RBA unveil their quarterly Monetary Policy Statement tonight and while this should reveal some downward revisions to inflation forecasts, a tightening bias is likely to remain in place. It is too early to call an end to the RBA rate hike cycle.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

Market Holiday (Thu & Fri) – Japan & China
US Productivity (Q1, 1st est) saar 08.30 +0.7%
US Unit lab costs (Q1, 1st est) saar 08.30 +3.8%
US Initial claims (w/e Apr 21) 08.30 325k
US Continuing claims (w/e Apr 28) 08.30 2594k last
US ISM non-manu (Apr) 10.00 53.0
AU Trade balance (Mar) 21.30 -A$1.0bn
AU RBA Mon Policy Statement 21.30

Latest data Actual Consensus*
CH CPI (Apr) y/y +0.5% +0.2%
GB PMI services (Apr) 57.2 57.5
EU PPI (Mar) y/y +2.7% +2.8%
* 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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