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Tuesday May 15, 2007 - 11:17:29 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:50 EDT

Key Points
• Japanese machinery orders came in weaker than expected.
• The USD is edging higher on positioning ahead of the US data.
• UK CPI weaker, in line with expectations – Eurozone GDP was a touch higher.
• US CPI, NY Fed and TIC portfolio data feature today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD eased lower in early European trading, after holding tests of 1.3565 resistance overnight, with positioning an ongoing restraint ahead of today’s US data (see below). The 1.3520 level remains intra-day support, ahead of Friday’s 1.3460 low.

The EUR-GBP cross rate popped briefly above 0.6850 after the UK CPI data, which was largely in line with expectations. The easing in the headline number can be partly explained by energy and base effects, though the core number came in a touch lower than expected at 1.8% and further, possibly substantial, weakness is likely next month in headline CPI. This leaves some downside risk to GBP ahead of tomorrow’s Inflation Report, especially as the latter may fail to advance rate hike expectations any further. On EUR-GBP, the 0.6867 mid- March high will need to break to open topside to 0.6920-60.

The UK RICS house price report unexpectedly picked up, with the house prices balance climbing to +28.9 in the three months to April, from +26.9 in March. However, enquiries from new buyers fell for the fifth successive month and surveyor confidence about the prospect for future sales fell to the lowest since September 2004. While prices remain strong, the lower buyer enquiries may encourage the belief that higher rates and the traditional summer lull will combine to calm things over coming months.

The JPY was shaken briefly overnight after the surprisingly weak machinery orders reading. EUR-JPY edged up to 163.25 but has since pulled back, with softer global markets helping the JPY to stabilise. Major resistance is at the 163.62 early May high, while 162.60-50 area should offer support today. A German official said that currencies would not be discussed at this weekend’s G8 meeting

Japanese core machinery orders unexpectedly declined 4.5% in March, following a revised fall of 4.9% in February, taking the level of orders below 1trln yen for the first time since May 2005. The smoothed trend is also faltering (see chart). Expectations were also poor with manufacturers forecasting that core orders will decline 11.8% q/q in Q2, after declining 0.7% in Q1. The government downgraded its assessment of machinery orders to “somewhat weak”. It is the beginning of the new financial year, which means that businesses tend to be somewhat cautious in their forecasts. Actual orders have overshot the forecast for Q2 in each of the last three years. Still the weak reading does raise some concerns about the capital spending component of Q1 GDP, which is due Thursday.

Eurozone GDP rose 0.6% in Q1, a little firmer than expected, as the German VAT hike failed to make a major overall dent in German GDP growth. German GDP data came in stronger than expected, while French GDP was a touch below expectations. The German Statistics office noted that “private consumption was a clear brake on growth”, with the strength due to “continued vigorous investment activity”.

Day Ahead
US – CPI, the NY Fed survey, the NAHB housing index and TIC portfolio numbers are all due today. CPI will show whether last month’s softer core outcome of +0.1% was a one-off or the beginning of a more subdued trend. A few months of weaker numbers will be required before the Fed considers softening its concerns over price stability. The NY Fed survey will be interesting to see whether it corroborates the strength seen in the latest ISM number. However, the Philly Fed on Thursday is likely to be more significant given the m/m volatility that can sometimes afflict the NY version.

Canada – manufacturing shipments are due today. Shipments have fallen back in Jan and Feb after the strength seen in Nov and Dec, so the underlying trend is not clear. The market consensus is for a rebound of 0.9%, after a national railway strike hampered activity in February.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e May 12) w/w 07.45 -0.6% last
US Fed’s Bernanke spks 08.10
US CPI (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US CPI core (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US NY Fed index (May) 08.30 +8.0
CA Manu shipments (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.9%
US Redbook sls (w/e May 12) m/m 08.55 -4.1% last
US TIC intl portfolio balance (Mar) 09.00 $74.3bn
US NAHB housing index (May) 13.00 33
US ABC consumer conf (w/e May 13) 17.00 -3 last
NZ PPI output (Q1) q/q 18.45 -0.5% last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB RICS house prices (Apr) +28.9% +24%
JP Machinery orders – core (Mar) -4.5% +1.5%
DE GDP (Q1) q/q +0.5% +0.3%
FR GDP (Q1) q/q +0.5% +0.7%
FR CPI (Apr, prel) y/y +1.3% +1.1%
NO Trade balance (Apr) NOK30bn NOK29.2bn
IT GDP (Q1) q/q +0.2% +0.2%
GB CPI (Apr) y/y +2.8% +2.8%
GB CPI core (Apr) y/y +1.8% +1.9%
GB RPIX (Apr) y/y +3.6% +3.6%
GB RPI (Apr) y/y +4.5% +4.5%
EU GDP (Q1) q/q +0.6% +0.5%
* 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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