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Thursday May 17, 2007 - 11:02:05 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:10 EDT

Key Points
• JPY still weak but global markets are a potential danger.
• EUR-USD remains range bound.
• Canadian CPI, US jobless claims, Philly Fed survey, Bernanke speech on mortgages feature today.

Market Outlook

Yesterday’s US housing data provided little comfort for those looking for signs of a bottom in the market. The evidence of stabilisation in housing starts remains tentative, while building permits fell to a fresh 10-yr low. However, with the consumer holding in well and the latest ISM data suggesting that manufacturing may be shrugging off the effects of weaker residential investment, the market is unwilling to get too pessimistic. In combination with the fact that the market is already well positioned for USD weakness, this factor is providing support to the USD and should continue to do so in the short-term unless some fresh disappointments are seen on economic activity indicators. The real test will be whether next month’s ISMs can sustain the improvements seen this month, although reports such as today’s Philly Fed survey (see below) will carry interim importance.

EUR-USD remains well entrenched within recent trading parameters, with the main levels of importance coming in at 1.3460 and 1.3680. 1.3550-60 will carry some significance today ahead of 1.3610-30, while below 1.3500 would suggest a test of 1.3460.

An ongoing theme of the past few days has been JPY weakness and last night’s solid but unspectacular Japanese GDP number does not threaten such sentiment. BoJ governor Fukui said that as long as they were convinced about the likelihood of a future rise in inflation, they could hike rates while current core CPI was falling. He also said that the timing of rate moves would not necessarily be dictated by the July elections, although the market shrugged off the comments. EUR-JPY remains close to recent highs, while yesterday’s USD-JPY move above 120.60 was significant. There remains some scope for further JPY weakness in the short-term (USD-JPY has room up to the Feb high of 121.75). However, this may not be that dramatic and the risk of chasing JPY weakness is that reversals will be sharp on any sign of retrenchment in global markets. Selling the JPY at times of corrective activity still seems the best way to play JPY weakness.

Day Ahead
Canada – strength in core CPI a couple of months back was a factor in the recent recovery in rate expectations, but this eased back a little last month and remains at a level (+2.3%) which is not that threatening. The BoC has a target range for CPI of 1% to 3% and aims to target the mid-point of this range over time. 2.5% or higher is needed to trigger fresh alarm. 1.1075 needs to break on USD-CAD to alleviate the downward pressure that has emerged this week.

US – the Philly Fed survey will be significant in terms of whether it corroborates the strength seen in the latest ISM number. The NY Fed index released earlier this week rose to a 3-mth high, but the Philly Fed number is likely to be watched more closely, as it is less volatile and more reliable than the NY Fed version. There may also be some focus on the ‘prices received’ component after the sharp rise in that category seen in the NY Fed survey. In the Philly Fed survey, the ‘prices received’ category has been subdued of late. Weekly jobless claims data is also due and it will be interesting to see whether recent improvements have been sustained. Last week, the 4-week average for initial claims (317.3k) was close to the recent low of 316.3k seen in March. Bernanke is due to speak on sub-prime mortgages and his comments will be watched closely. However, it seems unlikely that he will be interested in creating any fresh panic over the issue.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

Market holiday – Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland
CA CPI (Apr) y/y 07.00 +2.1%
CA BoC core CPI (Apr) y/y 07.00 +2.4%
US Initial claims (w/e May 12) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e May 5) 08.30 2555k last
CA Wholesale sales (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US Fed’s Bernanke spks on sub-prime mortgages 09.30
US Lead indicators (Apr) m/m 10.00 0.0%
US Philly Fed index (May) 12.00 +3.5
JP Tertiary index (Mar) m/m 19.50 -0.7%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP GDP (Q1 1st est) q/q +0.6% +0.7%
AU Average wages (Q1) q/q +1.1% +0.7% last
JP BoJ policy announcement unch unch
* 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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