Home GBP/USD Outlook Nov 12-16

GBP/USD sagged at the  end of the trading week, as the pair  dropped about 120 points, closing at 1.5894. The upcoming week  has  eight  events. Highlights include Claimant Count Change, CPI and  Retail Sales.  Here is an outlook of the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The UK Trade Deficit beat the forecast, but the pound still took a tumble at the end of the week, as US data was positive.  In the US, Unemployment Claims  continue to fall, and  the UoM  Consumer Sentiment was higher than forecast.  

Updates: Claimant Count Change looked very weak, posting a reading of 10.1 thousand. The weak figure surprised the markets, which had forecast a drop of 0.5K. The good news was that the Unemployment Rate fell from 7.9% to 7.8%. This is the lowest level since July 2011. Average Earnings Index climbed 1.8%, matching the market forecast. BOE Gvernor Mervyn King held a press conference in London about the BOE Inflation Report. Retail Sales disappointed, declining 0.8%. The estimate stood at -0.1.%. GBP/USD was steady, as the pair was trading at 1.5841.

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

  1. RICS House Price Balance: Tuesday, 00:01. This indicator has been sluggish in 2012, indicating sustained weakness in the UK housing sector. The indicator declined by 15% last month, and the estimate for November is unchanged.
  2. CPI: Tuesday, 9:30. CPI is  a key  inflation indicator, and an unexpected reading can affect the movement of GBP/USD. The index rose 2.2% last month, and the markets are expecting a similar reading in November.
  3. PPI Input: Tuesday, 9:30. This inflation index focuses on the price of goods and raw materials purchased by manufacturers. The index dropped by 0.2% in the October release, and the market is expecting a decline of 0.4% in this month’s release.
  4. RPI:  Tuesday, 9:30. This  consumer inflation index differs from CPI in that it measures consumption by consumers, and includes housing costs. The index climbed 2.6% in October, its lowest gain in almost three years.  The estimate for this month calls for a higher reading, with an estimate  of 2.9%.
  5. Claimant Count Change: Wednesday, 9:30. This key indicator provides a snapshot of the health and direction of the UK employment market.  Despite an improvement  to -4.0 thousand last month, the indicator fell well below the forecast. The markets are expecting the number of unemployed claimants to fall slightly in November, to -5.1K. The Unemployment Rate improved to 7.9% last month, and the markets are expecting the rate to remain unchanged in the upcoming reading.
  6. BOE Inflation Report: Wednesday, 10:30. Analysts will be carefully combing though this report, which is released each quarter. The report looks at projected trends concerning inflation and economic growth, which are closely connected to monetary policy.
  7. BOE Governor Mervyn King Speaks: Wednesday, 10:30.  BOE Governor King will  hold a press conference along with other MPC members about the Inflation Report.  Remarks by the Governor which  are more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
  8. Retail Sales: Thursday, 9:30. This is one of the most important economic indicators, and often impacts on GBP/USD. The indicator recorded a strong gain of 0.6% last month, which was higher than the estimate. However, the markets are expecting a much weaker reading in November, with a forecast of a 0.1% decline. Will the indicator surprise the markets and remain in positive territory?

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.6018, and touched a high of 1.6043. However, the pair again dropped sharply at the end of the week, as it reached a low of 1.5887, easily breaking through resistance at 1.5930 (discussed last week).  GBP closed the week at 1.5894.  

Technical lines from top to bottom:

With GBP/USD dropping, we start  at lower levels.   There is resistance at 1.6343, which was last breached when the pound dropped sharply in  August 2011. We next encounter resistance at 1.6247. Below, is the line of 1.6122, which saw a lot of action in  October.  Next, there is resistance at 1.6060. This line has strengthened as the pair trades at lower levels. This is followed by 1.5992, which was providing the pair with weak support, until the pound sagged at the end of last week. Next, there is weak resistance at 1.5930. This line could see further action this week.

GBP/USD is receiving weak support at 1.5881, which has held firm since early September. We next find support at 1.5750.This is followed by support at 1.5648, which saw a lot of action in August. Next is the round figure of 1.5600, which has held firm since early August.

Below, there  is support at 1.5530. This line was last breached in August, when the pound started its impressive summer rally. This is followed by 1.5414, which was last breached in July. The final resistance line for now is at 1.5271, which has held firm since January.

I am  bearish on GBP/USD.

The pound has now  lost about four cents since mid-September. Will the downward spiral continue? UK data has been rather ordinary, and the BOE maintained the QE and interest rate levels last week. Meanwhile, US  data,  such as employment numbers and consumer confidence, continue to improve. If the US economy gains more traction, we could see the greenback make more inroads against the pound.

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.