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The British Pound traded in a narrow range this week, bouncing off resistance and support lines, and trading “by the book”. This week features 7 important British indicators, with the Revised GDP being the most important release. Here’s an outlook for this week’s events and a technical analysis for GBP/USD.

GBP/USD forex chart with important resistance and support lines marked on it:

British Pound Technical Analysis August 2009

Last week’s inflation figures were higher than expected, and this helped the Pound recover after an initial fall. Also Retail Sales were better than expected, but didn’t help the Pound make the break. This week provides data of all kinds. Let’s review the events:

  1. Nationwide HPI: Despite being the second house price index release in the UK, it’s a wide and reliable survey that has a significant impact.  Nationwide HPI has surprised for 5 consecutive months, and rose nice for three months in a row. Expectations are positive this time, with a hopeful rise of 0.6% after last month’s 1.3% rise. The exact publication time isn’t known at the moment, but it will surely happen this week.
  2. BBA Mortgage Approvals: Another important housing indicator, that is published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. The number of British mortgages has been on the rise in recent months, and this trend is expected to continue, with a rise from 35.2K to 37.9K. British real estate was one of the sectors that took the economy down, and more mortgages mean more recovery.
  3. Charles Bean speaks: Charles Bean is the Bank of England’s deputy governor. He’s expected to speak at the  European Economic Association, in Barcelona, where he might release some interesting statements regarding future policy. The speech is due on Tuesday at 16:15 GMT when no other releases are due, so his words might have serious impact.
  4. Prelim Business Investment: This is a quarterly publication, and therefore has a broad view. The figure reflects the change in the value of investments made in Britain. Investments squeezed in the past 6 quarters (a year and a half), and aren’t expected to be postive this time. After falling 7.6% last time, they’re expected to decline by “only” 3.6%. Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT.
  5. CBI Realized Sales: The Confederation of British Industry releases this indicator on Thursday at 10:00 GMT. It indicates consumer spending since retailers and wholesalers are impacted by the consumers. This indicator was negative in the last three months, and is expected to remain so, but improve slightly – from -15 to -11. This will have a serious impact on GBP/USD.
  6. GfK Consumer Confidence: This indicator is already checking the consumers directly. The survey of 2000 people tests the optimism or pessimism of British consumers. The figure hasn’t been positive in the last 3 years, and isn’t expected to change its trend this time. At least it’s expected to become marginally better – from -25 to -24. Published on Thursday at 23:00 GMT (midnight UK).
  7. Revised GDP: The most important British figure for this week is published at the end: Friday at 8:30 GMT. Britain is in recession for about a year. The second quarter of 2009 isn’t going to send the UK out of recession. The initial reading stood on a contraction of 0.8% after a fall of 1.9% in the first quarter. The Revised GDP release is expected to confirm the initial reading of a 0.8% contraction. No matter the result, GBP/USD will shake upon this release.

As always, American figures will naturally impact GBP/USD. Also in the US, revised GDP for the second quarter is released this week. Still, the wide range of British releases will dominate the scene this week.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

The Pound was pounded at the beginning of the week, falling down to the 1.62 resistance line. This resistance line held strong, and its importance is now stronger.

The Pound was quick to recover, as the US dollar weakened around the world. It later traded in a range from 1.64 (the minor resistance line from last week’s British Pound Outlook up to 1.6660.

1.6660 is again and again a strong resistance line in the Pound’s road upwards. It served as peak during the turbulent months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and served as a resistance line again in again in recent months. The break of this line at the beginning of August was false and very short lived.

If you think that the Pound will break this line, the next hurdles are 1.70 which was the peak during the break, and 1.74 is the next point far up.

For Pound bears, the 1.58 is a strong support line below the 1.62 line which was tested last week.

I continue to have a negative sentiment for GBP/USD, but I don’t believe that a major breakout will happen this week.

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