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The British Pound managed to close above a critical resistance line late on Friday. Is it truly the big break? Or was it just temporary? This week features 8 major events for the Pound. Here’s an outlook for those events and a technical analysis for GBP/USD.

  1. Halifax HPI: The troubled HBOS bank releases this broad based House Price Index after two other similar HPI publications. Yet the broad scale of this survey makes it highly regarded. After falling by 0.5% last month, optimism is back, with an expected rise of 0.7%. Note that the exact timing of this release isn’t known yet.
  2. Manufacturing PMI: On Monday at 8:30 GMT is an excellent gauge of the economy, since purchasing managers feel the economy very well.  The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) has published rising numbers in the past months. This figure surprised in the last 4 months, rising up to 47, quite close to the 50 mark. This time it’s expected to rise to 47.7, but it may also be better, based on previous months.
  3. Construction PMI: This Purchasing Managers’ Index deals with the base of the real estate sector, which has been dominant in this recession. Also here, the number is under 50, and is expected to get closer, from 44.5 to 46. Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT.
  4. Nationwide Consumer Confidence: This survey of 1000 people measures the mood of British consumers and their future spending intentions. The result has surprised in the last 3 months, and is expected to continue rising, from 58 to 59 points. Note that also revisions to previous figures has been revised upwards. This figure is significant due to the importance that the MPC members give it in their upcoming rate decision. Published on Tuesday at 23:00 GMT (midnight in Britain).
  5. Manufacturing Production: This monthly measure of the British manufacturing production accounts for the vast majority of the industrial production. Contrary to the previous figures, this one disappointed last month, and fell by 0.5%. The fluctuations in this figure are quite small, and also this time, it’s predicted to remain unchanged. Published on Wednesday on 8:30 GMT.
  6. Services PMI: The complementary figure to Monday’s  Manufacturing PMI is also very important. It’s published at the same time as the Manufacturing Production figure. If both figures disappoint or if both figures surprise, it will strongly impact the Pound. If they go in different directions, traders will be very confused. After topping the critical 50 mark in June, it’s expected to stay in the expansion zone, and rise from 51.6 to 51.9.
  7. Interest Rate Decision: Mervyn King’s BoE will probably leave the British Official Cash Rate at the historic low of 0.5%. Despite improving economic conditions, raising the rate doesn’t seem close in Britain. The focus will be pointed to the  MPC Rate Statement which might hint on future policy. Will there be an interest rate hike in the foreseeable future? Where is the Quantitative Easing program going to? All the answers will be given on Thursday at 11:00.
  8. PPI Input: After the climax of the rate decision, there’s still one event left. On Friday at 8:30 GMT, British Producer Price index is predicted to show a drop of 0.8%. Last month, prices surprisingly rose by 1.5%. This release will close the British indicators for the week, 4 hours before the American NFP.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

british pound august 2009

The British Pound managed to close higher this week – it took a ride on the Friday effect, and manged to close above 1.6660, at 1.6710. It’s still unclear if the Pound will lose these new highs or will continue upwards. If the critical 1.6660 was truly broken, there’s lots more up there. The next major resistance line is at 1.74.

Looking down, there are lots of support lines: 1.6320 served as a minor support after stopping falls recently. 1.62 is a little stronger, after holding nicely during a few weeks in June. A major support line appears at 1.58 which served as a resistance line a few times in the past.

Those are the main lines. The big question remains  Was 1.67 was a temporary Friday high, or a real break of a very important resistance line. We’ll see it soon…

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