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Forex Research - Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily 06:05 EDT

Key Points
• FOMC maintains anti-inflation rhetoric.
• Global markets continue to stabilise, adding to downside risk on the JPY.
• Last night’s Japanese data was subdued.
• EUR stronger in Europe.
• UK mortgage approvals stronger than expected.
• US core PCE prices, Chicago PMI, Michigan sentiment feature.

Market Outlook

The FOMC statement was not far from market expectations and shows that they are maintaining a cautious stance with regard to interpreting short-term movements in the data. The description of growth as being moderate in the “first half of this year” averages out the discrepancies between a weak Q1 and what looks like being a much better Q2. Core inflation is no longer described as elevated, but after noting that current readings have “improved modestly” they add that “a sustained moderation in inflation pressures has yet to be convincingly demonstrated”. They again acknowledged that resource utilisation is already high, leaving them to conclude that the overriding concern remains that inflation will fail to moderate as expected. The message is to just keep on watching the data.

EUR-USD was generally weaker after the statement given that the FOMC failed to give up much ground in its anti-inflation rhetoric. However, with global markets recovering further overnight, encouraging EUR-JPY higher, EUR-USD has also stabilised. In fact the EUR has been strong across the board this morning, with EUR-USD nudging above resistance at 1.3485. If this can be sustained in early North American trading there is room up towards the 1.3530-50 area, but major gains look unlikely.

If the global market recovery does continue this will spell trouble for the JPY. This morning’s move above 166.15-20 on EURJPY means some upside risk today (possible test of the recent high at 166.94), while above 123.80 on USD-JPY would mean a test and possible break of the recent high at 124.14. 125-plus levels look likely on USD-JPY in the next couple of months, unless equity markets weaken, with EUR-JPY set to test 169.00.

Japanese data last night was not impressive. There were some elements of strength in the labour numbers, but both consumer spending and core CPI remain subdued. There is certainly nothing here to unsettle the benign outlook for interest rates.

UK mortgage approvals were higher than expected, suggesting that housing marked strength may last for a few months yet. Data such as this needs to start weakening before the MPC begins contemplating an end to the current tightening cycle. The data has not had much impact on GBP, with EURGBP having spent the morning reversing the weakness seen after yesterday’s FOMC statement. Support is at 0.6690 ahead of next Thursday’s MPC outcome.

Day Ahead
US – core PCE prices, Chicago PMI and Michigan sentiment feature and all will be watched with interest. If the market consensus of +0.1% m/m is achieved on core PCE prices, it should leave the y/y rate below 2% for the first time since March 2004. However, there is a slight doubt over whether this will happen following the revisions to Q1 core PCE prices released yesterday as part of the final Q1 GDP report. Michigan sentiment was weak at the mid-month estimate and the Conference Board measure released this week was also lower. Any rebound in Michigan would therefore be a surprise. Chicago PMI will have some impact on expectations about Monday’s ISM, but the links between the series are unreliable.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Personal income (May) m/m 08.30 +0.6%
US PCE (May) m/m 08.30 +0.7%
US Core PCE price index (May) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (May) y/y 08.30 +1.9%
CA GDP (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US Chicago PMI (Jun) 10.00 57.5
US Michigan sentiment (Jun, fin) 10.00 84.0

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US FOMC meeting outcome unch unch
FR Unemployment rate (May) 8.1% 8.1%
FR ILO job seekers (May) m/m -21k -20k
NZ GDP (Q1) q/q +1.0% +1.0%
JP CPI Tokyo ex-fresh food (Jun) y/y -0.1% +0.1%
JP CPI Nat ex-fresh food (May) y/y -0.1% -0.1%
JP CPI Nat ex-food & energy (May) -0.3% -0.2% last
JP Unemployment rate (May) 3.8% 3.9%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (May) 1.06 1.05
JP Overall PCE (May) y/y +0.4% +0.6%
AU Private sector credit (May) m/m +1.2% +1.1%
JP Housing starts (May) y/y -10.7% -1.0%
DE Retail sales (May) m/m -1.8% -0.3%
FR Consumer confidence (Jun) -12 -15
FR GDP (Q1, final) q/q +0.5% +0.5%
NO Retail sales (May) m/m -0.2% +0.6%
GB Consumer credit (May) +£0.8bn +£0.5bn
GB Net lending sec’d on dwellings (May) +£8.7bn +£9.2bn
GB Mortgage approvals (May, sa) 114k 105k
GB GDP (Q1, final) q/q +0.7% +0.7%
GB Current account (Q1) -£12.2bn -£12.0bn
EU CPI (Jun, flash est) y/y +1.9% +1.9%
EU Econ sentiment (Jun) 111.7 111.7
EU Business climate index (Jun) 1.54 1.50
GB Consumer confidence (Jun) -3 -3
* Consensus unless stated

©2007, 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


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