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GBP/USD Outlook – August 15-19

The British pound weathered the global storm, but had different troubles at home. The upcoming week is very busy, and consists of inflation, employment and the meeting minutes among other events. Here is an outlook for these events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

Riots in various British cities weighed on the pound. At this stage, the riots seem to have a criminal nature rather than expressing discontent. The government isn’t expected to change its policy. Not yet.

GBP/USD graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:GBP to USD Chart August 15 19 2011

  1. Rightmove HPI:Sunday, 23:00. This is the earliest HPI published in Britain, and also published very early in the week. After 6 months of rises, Rightmove has shown a drop last month -1.6%. Another small drop is likely now.
  2. CPI: Tuesday, 8:30. Inflation surprised by easing down to an annual pace of 4.2% last month. Another tick down is expected now, as the British economy is slow, and commodity prices have dropped. In any case, the BOE predicts that inflation will drop on the long run and that no rate hike is necessary anytime soon, despite prices being way off target. A fall under 4% might trigger the dissenting members to align with the rest. Core CPI made a bigger drop to 2.8%, and is expected to further drop. The Retail Price Index (RPI) is likely to tick down from 5%. Head of the BOE, Mervyn King, is set to write a public letter to George Osborne and explain the situation – he is likely to point out the weaknesses.
  3. Employment data: Wednesday, 8:30. British  Claimant Count Change, or jobless claims, is set to rise once again in July, for the fifth time in a row. This indicator missed expectations each time. This major drag is likely to weigh on the pound. The unemployment rate for June will likely edge up from 7.7%.
  4. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 8:30. The rates weren’t changed and aren’t expected to change. The scenario where 2 out of 9 members still want a rate hike will likely repeat itself. Adam Posen will probably vote for more QE, given the state of the economy. The key is the change in future expectations from the economy. Worse expectations will not be helpful. If QE returns to the agenda (after dropping)  once again, the pound will drop. Note that this coincides with the employment figures, promising a choppy morning for the pound.
  5. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. The volume of retail sales returned to rises once again. Retailers enjoyed the Royal Wedding in April, suffered from the hangover in May, and now things are back to normal, without special effects. A small drop is likely now in this important consumer indicator.
  6. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Friday, 8:30. The British government is fighting public debt with all its might, yet it borrows billions on a monthly basis. A drop is expected from last month’s 12 billion. A big drop will help the pound.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

Cable started off the week with a Sunday gap, as expected, but hit the 1.6470 line (discussed last week) before falling. It eventually found support at the 1.6110 line before climbing and finding resistance at around 1.63.

Technical levels, from top to bottom:

We start from a point that was the highest this year: 1.6750. This line also had a role in the past, and might be tackled on an upwards move. Minor resistance is found at 1.6623, which was support when the pair was trading higher.

1.6550 was a peak at the end of May and is a distant resistance line. 1.6470 is a tough line of resistance, that capped the pair three times in June and worked perfectly well for yet another week in a row – quite a tough line.

The veteran 1.6280 to 1.63 has a weaker, somewhat more pivotal role at the moment. It was a peak several times in recent months and usually worked better as support. 1.62 has a weaker role now, but it is still of high importance. It provided a solid bottom when the pair was falling.

Further below, 1.6110 is another veteran line. It quickly turned into support before the next move higher. Yet again, its importance was seen. Below, the round number of 1.60 was the base of the leap.

1.5940, which was a previous swing low, returns to play a role now, but a minor one. 1.5910, which was a peak many months ago, worked perfectly as support after the pair climbed back up. It is an important line now.

1.5820 is only a minor line. It delayed the comeback. The fresh low of 1.5780 is the next support line, which will be tested on the next fall.

I am bearish on GBP/USD.

After Britain managed to distance itself from the debt club, it still faces deep economic problem and probably lower inflation to weaken the case for a rate hike. With some signs of improvement in the US, there is room for GBP/USD weakness.

Further reading:

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.