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British Pound Outlook – November 2-6 2009

Looking for the latest outlook, for the current week? Check out the section: GBP/USD Forecast

The British Pound stood proud against the dollar strength this week. A very sensitive rate decision and 8 other events will move the Pound this week. Here’s a review for these events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

GBP/USD chart with support and resistance lines marked on it:


Will the Pound recover from the ongoing recession? In addition to the rate decision, three PMI releases are also pivotal. Let’s review the events this week:

  1. Halifax HPI: The Halifax Bank of Scotland releases this important broad housing indicator at an unknown time this week. This index, based on the bank’s internal numbers, has risen in the past three months, with a 1.6% rise last time. A 0.8% rise is expected this time.
  2. Manufacturing PMI: 600 manufacturers are surveyed for this important purchasing managers’ index. Manufacturing PMI passed the 50 point mark in July, indicating expectations for economic expansion. This didn’t hold in the next two months. After a 49.5 score last time (indicating contraction), it’s expected to rise to 50.1 this time. Published on Monday at 9:30 GMT.
  3. Construction PMI: Contrary to house prices, this housing sector indicator is still negative. 170 purchasing managers in the field of construction are still expecting contraction, with a 46.7 score last month, lower than the previous one. This time, it’s expected to go back up to 47.2, still in the negative zone. Published on Tuesday at 9:30 GMT.
  4. Nationwide Consumer Confidence: British consumers are becoming more and more confident – this index has risen in the past 6 months, reaching 71 last time. This survey of 1000 consumers is expected to advance one step further, and rise to 72 points this time. Published on Wednesday at midnight GMT.
  5. Services PMI: Contrary to the manufacturing PMI, the services sectors is doing better and is more steady. It is above the 50 point mark for 5 straight months, reaching a nice score of 55.3 this time. Purchasing managers in the services sector are expected to show the same expectations, with the index edging up to 55.4 points. Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT.
  6. Manufacturing Production: This economic indicator touches production itself. After a cautious rise, manufacturing production was a great disappointment last time, with a fall of 1.9% – something that seriously hurt the Pound. This time, it’s expected to recover, and show a rise of 1.1%. At the same time, Industrial Production is also published, but since manufacturing is around 80% of all industrial production in Britain, this number is less important. Industrial production is expected to rise by 1.2% after a plunge of 2.5% last month.
  7. Rate decision: The British economy is still in a bad condition. The ongoing recession in the third quarter hurt the Pound badly. With a slowing pace of price rises, there’s no fear of deflation. There’s no chance of rate hike in the near future – Official Bank Rate is expected to remain at 0.5%. The focus is on the Quantitative Easing program, officially called the “Asset Purchase Facility”. In the previous rate decision, the BoE mentioned that there isn’t too much money left in the program, and hinting that it will be expanded – Pound bearish hints. Since then, there have been many comments regarding the program, that sent the Pound up and down. Given the bad GDP, the chance of an expansion has risen. An expansion of the program from 175 billion to 225 billion Pounds is highly likely. The event, including the MPC Rate Statement, will happen on Thursday at 12:00 GMT.
  8. NIESR GDP Estimate: The National Institute of Economic and Social Research releases this early, monthly GDP estimate on Friday at midnight GMT. The recent fall in GDP surprised many economists, but not those at NIESR, who expected it. This makes this unofficial release so important.
  9. PPI: British Producer Price Index has fallen in the previous month, showing that deflation can come to Britain as well. PPI Input,  representing  the price paid by manufacturers , the more important figure, is expected to rise by 1.6% after last month’s 0.5% fall, while PPI Output, the price sold by manufacturers, is expected to rise by 0.4%.

As with other currencies, the crowded calendar in the US, with the Non-Farm Payrolls in particular, will also shake the Pound. On the other hand, the Pound’s calendar is very crowded as well…

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

The Pound began the week hurt from the GDP, and slowly climbed back up. It got a boost from the American GDP, and pushed up to 1.6610 before releasing some of its gains on Friday. GBP/USD closed at 1.6449.

Looking up, 1.6660 continues to serve as a major resistance line. It worked as such so many times in recent months. Further up, 1.7042 was the sneak peak in August, and lies far above.

Looking down, 1.6110 serves as initial support on another plunge of the Pound. A further fall will meet the might 1.5720 line, the was a stronghold before the Pound began the recent comeback.

There’s no change in the support and resistance lines from last week’s GBP/USD Outlook, and there’s no change in my sentiment towards the Pound: Bearish.

The British economy is still in recession, with a heavy QE program and a growing danger of deflation. It should resume the downtrend.

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    Yohay Elam

    Yohay Elam

    Yohay Elam: Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I've accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I've earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I've worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.