The Pound bounced off a resistance line and went back down, continuing to struggle. This week features a rate decision and 8 other important economic indicators that will move the Pound. Here’s an outlook for this week’s events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD
GBP/USD forex chart with support and resistance lines marked on it. Click to enlarge.
Last week’s bad Manufacturing PMI, which showed a return to contraction, hurt the Pound, and erased its gains. Non-Farm Payrolls found the Pound in a weak spot, but it managed to stay above the support line. Apart from the rate decision, the NIESR GDP Estimate and the Services PMI also stand out. Let’s see what’s awaiting the Pound
- Halifax HPI: HBOS’s broad house prices survey is based on the bank’s data. While the data itself is important and reliable, the release data isn’t known. It will happen in one of the mornings during the week. House prices have been recovering in Britain quite nicely. The Halifax HPI has risen in the last two months, and is expected to do so also this time by 0.6%.
- Services PMI: Britain’s services sector is pushing forward and doing better than the rest of the economy. The Purchasing Managers’ Index has been above 50 for the past 4 months. This means that they are expecting expansion in this sector. After a score of 54.1 points, this index is predicted to edge up to 54.6 this time. A break in this sector’s rise will hurt the Pound. Published on Monday at 8:30 GMT.
- Manufacturing Production: 80% of industrial production belongs to manufacturing. The release, on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT will probably shake the Pound. A third consecutive month of growth is expected with a rise of 0.4%. The Manufacturing Production, published at the same time, is expected to follow with a rise of 0.1%, also for the third consecutive month.
- NIESR GDP Estimate: The National Institute of Economic and Social Research publishes a monthly, unofficial estimate of the GDP, preceding the official quarterly number. According to the NIESR, Britain has gone out of recession in August. The Pound isn’t impressed. Will their estimation become negative again? Published on Tuesday at 14:00 GMT.
- Nationwide Consumer Confidence: This survey of 1000 consumers has improved steadily in the past few months, and surprised economists every time. After scoring 64 points last time, it’s expected to push further up to 68 points. Published on Tuesday at 23:00 GMT (midnight UK).
- CB Leading Index: This compound index of 7 economic indicators is based on past data. Despite this fact, the timing, just two hours before the rate decision, can fuel nervousness. The leading index rose in the past four months, with a 0.7% rise last time. Published on Thursday at 9:00 GMT.
- Rate Decision: The Bank of England isn’t going to raise the rock bottom Official Bank Rate of 0.5%. The British economy isn’t doing so well, and no inflationary pressures are seen around. The focus will be on the Quantitative Easing program, also known as the Asset Purchase Facility. Two months ago, Mervyn King stunned traders with an expansion of this program to 175 billion. This sent GBP/USD straight down. He didn’t move this number last time. Any change will shake the Pound. It’s important to closely follow the words of the MPC Rate Statement, which might hint future moves. Published on Thursday at 11:00 GMT.
- PPI Input: Prices in Britain have also slowed down, following continental Europe. While the Producer Price Index isn’t so stable, the release always moves the Pound. A rise of 2.2% last month is expected to be followed by a drop of 0.9% this time. Published on Friday at 8:30 GMT.
- Trade Balance: Published a the same time as the PPI, this figure isn’t expected to move strongly. After the deficit remained at 6.5 billion last month, it’s expected to decrease to 6.3 billion. Only a major change will move the Pound.
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
After being beaten in recent weeks, the Pound was left behind also this time, and plunged as low as 1.5767. It later showed hope and had a mid-week peak at 1.6126. This was short lived – GBP/USD closed at 1.5944.
Looking down, 1.5720 is a strong support line. In the past week, the Pound got close to this point, which was also a resistance line last year. Further down, 1.5370 serves as a support line. It was a resistance line twice.
In order to climb, GBP/USD first needs to pass the 1.6130 handle, which it failed to breach last Wednesday. It also worked as a support line during September. Further up, the all-important 1.6660 continues to cap any strength.
My sentiment towards the Pound remains very bearish. The weak British economy is trailing after the rest of the world, and inflation pressures are weakening as well. In the rate decision, Mervyn King can pound the Pound once again.
- For a broad view of the major events this week, read the Forex Weekly Outlook.
- For the Euro, here’s the EUR/USD Outlook.
- For the Aussie, read the AUD/USD Outlook
- For the Canadian dollar, check out the USD/CAD Outlook.