The general elections will dominate the Pound’s trading this week, yet there are many economic indicators that will also rock the Pound this week. Here’s an outlook for the British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD for the exciting week ahead.
GBP/USD graph with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:
Note that the Pound also moves on news from continental Europe – debt troubles in Greece, Portugal and Spain have an impact on Britain as well, as Britain also suffers from a high government deficit. OK, let’s start:
- Halifax HPI: Publication time unknown at the moment. This is considered the most accurate house price index, as it is based on a very wide survey – the bank’s internal numbers. After a drop two months ago, house prices jumped back up by 1.1%, hinting that the drop could be temporary. Another rise of 0.6% is expected this time. Consumer prices are also on the rise.
- Manufacturing PMI: Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. Britain’s manufacturing sector showed strength as the 600 purchasing managers surveyed reached a score of 57.2 points, the highest since the outbreak of the financial crisis. It’s expected to remain unchanged this time. This is always a big market mover.
- Net Lending to Individuals: Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. Lending leads to spending and moves the whole economy that showed weak growth. In the past two months, net borrowing passed the 2 billion pound mark, expressing confidence. It’s expected to remain unchanged.
- Nationwide Consumer Confidence: Published on Tuesday at 23:00 GMT (midnight UK). This important survey of consumer confidence is usually released just before the rate decision and hints about the outcome. This time, the rate decision is delayed due to the elections. After many months of steady rise, this index leaped from 74 to 81 two months ago, only fall back down to 72 last month. A return to 80 points is predicted this time.
- Construction PMI: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT. The construction sector posted a great surprise last month – a jump above the all-important 50 point mark – purchasing managers are finally expecting economic expansion. The 53.1 points achieved last time will probably be followed by the same score.
- Services PMI: Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT. The last purchasing managers’ index refer to the services sector. This sector already reached 58.3 points but disappointed with a drop to 56.5 points this time. A rise above 57 is due now. Note that this release, on election day, means that its impact will be smaller than usual.
- Elections: On Thursday. Results due at 21:00 GMT. Gordon Brown’s ruling Labour party was trailing behind in these elections. But what seemed as a landslide victory for James Cameron’s Tories is now undermined by the growing popularity of the third, underdog party – Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats. There is growing fear of a political deadlock – a hung parliament that will hurt the Pound. A clear victory for any party will boost the Pound. Note that the results in the exit polls can change as the votes are counted.
- PPI: Published on Friday at 8:30 GMT. While the official votes are still counted, British producer prices will be released. Prices leaped to an annual rate of 3.6% (PPI Input). Learning from previous leaps, this will probably be followed by a drop in prices. The rise of consumer prices puts more pressure on the Pound.
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
The Pound began the week with a drop below the pivotal 1.5350 line. GBP/USD bounced only at 1.5120, which proved to be a strong support line once again. The Pound eventually recovered but closed lower, at 1.5273.
The Pound is currently bound to a lower range – 1.5120 to 1.5350. The resistance line of 1.5350 is less important than in previous weeks, after being run over many times. Note that some of the lines have changed since last week’s outlook.
Looking up, 1.5520 is the next significant resistance line. It worked as such recently, and worked as a support line when the pair was trading higher. Above, 1.5833 is also a strong resistance line – after failing to breach this line, the pair collapsed.
Looking down below 1.5120, the next level of support is at 1.4975, but its rather minor. The most important line is the 2010 low of 1.4780 – this was also a support line in the past.
I remain neutral on the Pound.
Despite some more decisive polls towards the elections, uncertainty remains high. Also the economic indicators, such as employment, are likely to continue offsetting each other, contributing to the choppy trading. The last 24 hours of the week will determine the direction of the Pound – election results and the American NFP will set the tone.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major event in all currencies, read the forex weekly outlook.
- For the Euro, read the EUR USD Forecast.
- For the Australian dollar, read the AUD/USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD, check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
- For the kiwi, here’s the NZD/USD forecast.
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