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Wednesday May 9, 2007 - 10:45:27 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:05 EDT

Key Points
• Upward pressure on the USD should increase if this week’s CB meetings come and go without surprises.
• A little changed FOMC statement is likely today.
• Mixed news on UK wages – market apprehension remains ahead of tomorrow’s MPC decision, supporting GBP for now.
• US mortgage data will also be watched closely to see whether recent strength is an aberration.
• Australian employment data due this evening.

Market Outlook

The FOMC meeting is today’s main feature (see below for preview) and is the first of three key central bank meetings scheduled for this week, with ECB and the UK MPC announcements due tomorrow. If, as we believe, each of these meetings fails to surprise, the market is likely to be left facing the prospect of further position adjustment in the short-term and this is likely to benefit the USD.

Trading today may be quiet ahead of the FOMC announcement. The key support area on EUR-USD, which should be tested in the next few days, is 1.3460-1.3500. Whether or not this breaks will also depend upon the tone of other key data releases this week, including tomorrow’s US trade data and more importantly perhaps Friday’s retail sales report. Below 1.3460 would open the way to 1.3340-60.

The UK BRC retail sales survey released last night was weaker than expected at +2.4%, while there was mixed news on UK wages. The KPMG/REC index of pay inflation rose to 63.6 in April (highest for almost seven years) from 62.4 in March – 50 being the pivot point between contraction and expansion. However, Voca, the organisation that processes around 90% of salaries paid through bank accounts said that take-home pay growth eased to +3.6% in the three months ending April, from +3.7% in the 3-mths to March.

GBP has remained reasonably firm this morning (EUR-GBP mretesting yesterday’s low of 0.6792) with the market stillapprehensive about tomorrow’s MPC outcome, especially as the committee will have access to next Tuesday’s CPI data. However, it would take something remarkably strong to move them into employing the shock treatment of a 50bp move, especially with the CPI y/y rate set to head substantially lower from May onwards. GBP will retain support until this meeting is out of the way (risk to 0.6770 if 0.6790 breaks), but if only a 25bp hike is delivered, GBP will most probably fall back.

Day Ahead
US – after the recent strength in the ISM surveys and durable orders the FOMC statement is likely to see a fairly solid description of economic activity, while noting the risks related to the housing market. The bigger uncertainty is what they say about inflation, given the more favourable readings on core CPI and core PCE prices over the past month. However, while there may be some acknowledgement of such developments, this is unlikely to translate into an all clear on the outlook for price stability, which is likely to remain their main concern.

Mortgage applications for house purchases have been rising in recent weeks to their highest level since January, so there will be some interest in whether this has been sustained. The data is prone to volatility, as was seen in the spiky strength seen in December and January.

Australia – employment data is due tonight and while there is always room for m/m volatility in this data series, most likely it will confirm the solid labour market background. In combination with ongoing strength in retail sales and private sector credit, this will help to maintain the RBA tightening bias currently in place. Such developments are positive for the AUD from a medium-term perspective, but ground could be lost in the short-term if the USD corrects in general.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Mortgage apps – purchases w/w 07.00 +4.0% last
US FOMC meeting outcome 14.15 unch
NZ Unemployment rate (Q1) 18.45 3.8%
JP M2 plus CDs (Apr) y/y 19.50 +1.1%
JP Bank lending (Apr) y/y 19.50 +1.0% last
AU Employment (Apr) 21.30 +12.5k
AU Unemployment rate (Apr) 21.30 4.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e May 6) -3 -5 last
GB BRC retail survey (Apr) y/y +2.4% +3.9% last
AU House prices (Q1) q/q +1.1% +1.2%
DE Trade balance (Mar) €18.4bn €15bn
DE Exports (Mar) -1.4% +0.2%
DE Current account (Mar) €17.2bn €10bn
SE Ind prod (Mar) m/m +1.4% +0.7%
* 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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