Home GBP/USD Outlook July 16-20

After  last week’s  poor performance by the pound against the dollar, the  GBP/USD gained close to  one cent, closing  at 1.5573. The upcoming week has  seven releases, including Claimant Count Change and Retail Sales. Here is an outlook for the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The pound was helped by some strong releases last week, including Manufacturing Production  and Industrial Production, which were  well above the market forecasts. As well, continuing concern about the US recovery has been bullish for the British currency.

Updates: Rightmove HPI dropped to an eight-month low, falling by 1.7%. The poor reading is indicative of a weak housing market in the UK. GBP/USD is dropping, as the pair was trading at 1.5539. CPI rose 2.4%, lower than the market estimate of 2.8%. Core CPI was almost unchanged, coming in at 2.1%. RPI climbed 2.8%, which was below the market forecast of 3.0%.   HPI rose 2.3%, its  highest increase since February 2011. BOE Governor Mervyn  King addressed a Parliamentary Committee in London on Tuesday. The pound has rebounded, as GBP/USD  pushed above the 1.56 line. The pair  was trading at 1.5636. The BOE released its minutes of the most recent MPC Meeting. The Committee voted unanimously to maintain the BOE’s key interest rate, while the vote to increase QE to 375 billion pounds was 7-2. The Unemployment Rate dropped  from 8.2%  to 8.1%. The market estimate stood at 8.2%. The Average Earnings Index came in at 1.5%, just above the market forecast of 1.4%. The pound edged downwards, dropping below the 1.56 line. GBP/USD was trading at 1.5593. Retail Sales,  a  key consumer indicator  was a disappointment. The indicator climbed just 0.1%, while market estimate stood at 0.6%. The pound shrugged off the weak data, and took advantage of the dollar’s weakness against the major currencies. GBP/USD  pushed close to the 1.57 line, as the pair was trading at 1.5690.  


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

  1. Rightmove HPI: Sunday, 23:01. This index is the  earliest data on housing inflation in the UK. The index reported a 1.0% increase last month.
  2. CPI: Tuesday, 8:30. This important inflation indicator  has  been declining in recent readings. Another slight drop is predicted in July, with an estimate of 2.7%.  
  3. BOE Governor Mervyn King Speaks: Tuesday, 9:00. The markets pay close attention anytime the head of the BOE speaks. A speech which is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
  4. Claimant Count Change: Wednesday, 8:30. This indicator was a disappointment last month, as the number of newly unemployed persons was much higher than forecast. The market estimate for the July reading stands at 7.4 thousand. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 8.2%.
  5. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 8:30. This important report details the voting breakdown on the recent interest rate decision as will as the Asset Purchase Facility (QE) vote. A report that is more hawkish than forecast is bullish for the pound.
  6. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. This key indicator is one of the most important gauges of consumer spending, which is a critical component of economic growth. The markets are expecting a drop in the July reading, with an estimate of 0.6%.
  7. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Friday, 8:30. This indicator was a disappointment in June, with a wider deficit than forecast. The markets are predicting a much smaller deficit for the July reading, with a estimate of 12.5 billion.

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5479. The pair rose to a high of 1.5580, as the resistance line of 1.5600 (discussed last week) held firm.  GBP/USD then dropped all the way to 1.5392. The pair then retraced, and  closed the week at 1.5573.

Technical levels from top to bottom

We  begin with resistance at  1.6060. Below, is the line of 1.5992, protecting the important 1.60 level. This is followed by resistance at 1.5930. The next resistance line is just above the 1.58 line, at 1.5805. This line was last breached in late May, as the pound went on a sharp down slide. Close by is 1.5750, which has held firm since mid-June.

Next, 1.5648 which has been alternating between support and resistance roles, is currently providing resistance following the strong surge by the dollar. This is followed by the round figure of 1.5600, which just last week was providing support. Next, 1.5521 was briefly  breached by GBP/USD as the pound improved, but continues to provide weak resistance as the pair retraced. This line could be tested if the pound rebounds.

The pair is receiving support at 1.5415. Below, there is support at 1.5361, a line which has held firm since early June. Close by, there is support at 1.5309. This line has not been breached since September 2010. This is followed by support at 1.5229. The next support level is at 1.5124, which has not been tested since July 2010. Below, there is support at 1.5054, which was last breached in June 2010. The final support level for now is 1.4891.

I am bearish on GBP/USD.

Although GBP/USD staged a rally late in the trading week, the general trend since early July has been downwards. The UK economy continues to sputter, and key sectors such as manufacturing, housing  and construction have all been contracting. With dark clouds over Europe and the global outlook looking bleak, investors may continue to favor the safe haven  provided by the dollar.

Further reading:

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.