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GBP USD Forecast

GBP/USD Outlook – August 16-20

After the Pound got bad news in the past week and fell, another busy week expects cable traders. Inflation data and retail sales being the highlights. Here’s an outlook for the British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

GBP/USD graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:

GBP USD Forecast

Apart from the disappointing employment figures, the Pound was also severely hit by the groundbreaking statement from the Federal Reserve, that sent “risky” currencies way down. The focus returns to British figures now. Let’s start:

  1. Rightmove HPI: Published on Sunday at 23:00 GMT. The earliest report on prices of homes isn’t the most accurate one, but tends to shake the Pound early in the week. After a few months of rises, prices dropped by 0.6% last month. Another drop will probably be seen now.
  2. Inflation data: Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. Inflation continues to be a hot issue in Britain. Mervyn King returned to dismissing the high CPI, stating it’s only due to higher taxation, and seeing it plunge later on. Consumer prices are expected to ease from 3.2% to 3.1% (annualized), still above the 1-3% target. In such a case, King is obliged to write a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, explaining the reasons for this and the measures taken to curb it. The publication of the letter will make the impact on the Pound longer than usual. Core CPI is predicted to slip down from 3.1% to 3%. RPI (Retail Price Index) will probably remain at the high level of 5%, showing that consumers feel the inflation.
  3. MPC Meeting Minutes: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT. Yet again, Britain’s interest rate remained at the historic low of 0.5%. We’ll get to see what the members talked about in the last meeting, and how they voted. It’s expected that only one member out of 9, Andrew Sentance, voted for raising the rates. This event always shakes the Pound.
  4. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Published on Thursday at 10:00 GMT. This survey of 550 manufacturers has been pessimistic for quite a long time. The score improved from -23 to -16 last month, and is now expected to edge up to minus 14, still showing a lower order volume.
  5. Retail Sales: Published on Friday at 8:30 GMT. This major consumer related figure showed strong growth in the past two months – rising by 0.7% and 0.8%. Retail sales are expected to grow once again in the month of July – by 0.4%.
  6. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT. After hitting high levels of 17 and 14 billion, the government is now expected to show a squeeze in lending – meaning less public spending as well. If the deficit indeed drops to 5.1 billion, it will help the Pound.
  7. Mortgage Approvals: Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT. Though slightly overshadowed by the other figures, this preliminary release from the BOE is expected to show approvals slide from 48K to 47K – a small pause in Britain’s real estate market. Any rise above 50K will help the Pound, while a bigger drop will hurt it.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

After another failed attempt to break above 1.60, GBP/USD began falling. After trading between the 1.57 and 1.5833 lines, it found support only above 1.5530, closing at 1.5586, losing nearly 400 pips.

The Pound now trades between 1.5530, which served as tough resistance in April and as support in February, to 1.5720, which held the pair back in 2009, and also temporarily in the past week. Note that most lines haven’t changed since last week’s outlook.

Above, 1.5833, which provided support at the beginning of the year and later worked as resistance, is the next line. Higher, the round psychological number of 1.60 proved to be a tough barrier recently and is a very strong resistance line.

Higher, 1.6080 is the next minor line of resistance, after serving as support in January. It’s followed by 1.6270, but that’s quite far at the moment.

Looking down below 1.5530, the next line of support is quite close – 1.5470 – it capped the pair in its recent ascent. 1.5350 served as pivotal line in March and April and now provides minor support.

Lower, 1.5230 was a stubborn resistance line in July and is now a major support line. Even lower, 1.5120 will provide further support.

I am neutral on GBP/USD.

Despite the pause in employment and King’s dovish statements, Britain is in a much better state than the Euro-zone, and should be able to stabilize in the week after Bernanke’s earthquake.

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