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Wednesday May 23, 2007 - 11:05:58 GMT
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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:20 EDT

Key Points
• Downside risk remains on EUR-USD.
• GBP boosted by MPC minutes – support on EURGBP at 0.6780.
• Fresh impetus needed to inspire further JPY weakness.
• Japanese trade data due this evening.

Market Outlook

D Very little has changed over the past 24 hours. The market is still waiting for further information about the state of the US economy, with next week’s ISM manufacturing and employment reports the major points of interest. In the meantime, tomorrow’s durable orders, weekly jobless claims and new home sales and Friday’s existing home sales will have the potential to influence USD sentiment further.

The FX market still appears to have not fully adjusted to the reduction in pessimism about the US economy and more movement in this direction (i.e. liquidation of existing USD shorts) seems likely in the short-term. There was more corrective activity in Europe this morning, with EUR-USD touching 1.3419 at one point. How far it ultimately develops will depend upon the ISMs and the employment report. There is some risk to 1.3340 on EUR-USD ahead of these releases next week.

This morning’s UK MPC minutes have provided a boost to GBP. GBP had been showing resilience in any case over the past 24 hours, with the ongoing weakness in EUR-USD being felt through EUR-GBP rather than cable. This could also be due to the fact that long positioning on cable is not as excessive as it is on EUR-USD.

This morning’s minutes showed a 9-0 vote in favour of a 25bp rate hike, which was slightly surprising as it showed Blanchflower voting for a rate hike for the first time. A key part of the minutes was the following. “For some members, the question was whether the Bank Rate should be increased by 25 basis points or whether there was a case for a rise of 50 basis points”. However, “If the Committee had been reasonably confident about the need for another interest rate rise soon, then a strong case could have been made for an increase of 50 basis points this month. But those members who had considered voting for 50 basis points preferred to wait for more data to assess the impact of past increases in Bank Rate. Some members argued that, given the uncertainties around both the outlook for inflation and the impact of interest rate changes, it was better to move cautiously. Other members were concerned that any excessive movement in rates could create downside risks to growth and so to the medium-term outlook for inflation.”

The talk of 50bp was the main reason for the uplift in GBP, although the big uncertainty is whether this was confined to the two main hawks, Besley and Sentance, or was spread wider. Furthermore, the manner in which they ultimately rejected such arguments for 50bp allowed some other less hawkish representations to move into place, e.g. the low probability of a further rate hike any time soon (i.e. before August) and the fact that they are now taking into account the possible impact from previous rate changes. Overall, the minutes do little to extend arguments beyond the other 25bp hike (to 5.75%) already more than discounted by the market, so this current GBP move may not develop that much further. Support on EUR-GBP is at 0.6780-85. A move back above 0.6825 is required to remove the softer bias now in place.

Ongoing buoyancy in global asset markets continues to weigh on the JPY, although some added impetus is required to weaken it another notch. Above 164 on EUR-JPY or 122.20 on USD-JPY are the levels that need to break in this regard, but could remain difficult ahead of Friday’s CPI data.

Day Ahead
Japan – trade data is due in Japan this evening and is likely to confirm the strong export trend that has essentially been in place for two years (see chart). However, market focus is more directly on Friday’s CPI data.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Mortgage apps – purchases w/w 07.00 -1.4% last
CA Leading indicator (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
NZ Trade balance (Apr) 18.45 -NZ$13m
JP Trade balance (Apr, sa) 19.50 ¥802bn

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e May 20) -9 -7 last
JP All-industry index (Mar) m/m -1.4% -1.4%
NO GDP – total (Q1) q/q +0.7% +1.1%
NO GDP – mainland (Q1) q/q +1.4% +1.0%
IT Retail sales (Mar) m/m +0.5% +0.2%
GB MPC minutes (May 2-3 meeting) 9-0
EU Manu orders (Mar) m/m +2.7% +1.0%
* 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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