A busy week expects cable traders: inflation, employment and Final GDP are part of the events that will shake the Pound this week. Here’s an outlook for the British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
GBP/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines. Click to enlarge:
In the past week, the Pound traded in a tight range, and didn’t fall during most of the week, despite many bad economic indicators that were released in the UK. The fall began only on Friday. Will it continue? Let’s start:
- Final GDP: Published on Monday at 8:30 GMT, delayed from two weeks ago. The initial release of GDP for Q1 was very disappointing – a growth rate of only 0.1% caused fears of a new recession. But the revision already showed a 0.3% rise, and this will probably be confirmed now. Britain’s economy is still very vulnerable, with the European debt issues still having an impact on the UK. This release will rock the Pound.
- Current Account: Published on Monday at 8:30 GMT and slightly overshadowed by the GDP release. Britain’s deficit is expected to grow from 1.7 to 3.9 billion pounds. A rise in the deficit was also seen in the related figure – trade balance, and already took its toll on the pair.
- BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Published on Monday at 23:00 GMT (midnight UK). This release gives a good idea about retail sales, as it’s a subset of the total figure. After a drop of 2.3% two months ago, sales rose by 0.8% last month. Another small rise is expected now.
- RICS House Price Balance: Published on Monday at 23:00 GMT. This indicator shows the balance between areas that see a rise in house prices and the areas that see drops. This indicator recovered and reached a positive balance of 22% last month, but similar housing indices show a probable drop this time.
- CPI: Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. Inflation passed the government’s 1-3% target in the past 5 months, reaching an annual rate of 3.7% at the peak. It then eased to 3.4% and it’s now expected to drop to 3.2%. One MPC member, Andrew Sentance, already wants a rate hike, but this didn’t happen yet. A drop under 3% will reduce the chances of a hike and will hurt the Pound. Core CPI is also expected to ease from an annual rate of 2.9% to 2.7%. RPI (Retail Price Index), which often reflects better what customers feel, will probably drop from 5.1% to 4.9%.
- Nationwide Consumer Confidence: Published on Tuesday at 23:00 GMT, delayed from last week. The Nationwide Building Society usually releases this report before the rate decision, but the delay gives it a different perspective. After hitting a peak at 81 points, it fell down to 65 points, and is expected to tick down to 64 points this time.
- Employment data: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT. Claimant Count Change, is the earliest report on employment in the UK, and shows the changed in the number of unemployed people. In the past 4 months, it has dropped significantly, surprising economists. After the 30.9K drop seen last month, a more modest drop of 20.3K is predicted this time. The unemployment rate, which relates to the month of May, is expected to remain unchanged at 7.9%. Also note the Average Earnings Index, which is likely to rise at an annual rate of 3.1%, less than last month’s 4.2%.
- Housing Equity Withdrawal: Published on Friday at 8:30 GMT. In this quarterly report, the Bank of England shows the change in the value of mortgages that aren’t used for housing. A squeeze of 3.1 billion is expected to follow last month’s 4 billion drop.
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
Tight range trading characterized the Pound’s week. An almost perfect 160 pip range was seen – between 1.5080 and 1.5240. Eventually, the currency fell and closed at 1.5060, lower than the range, but still above the 1.5050 support line mentioned in last week’s outlook.
The pair’s current range is between 1.5050 and the minor resistance line of 1.5130. Much stronger support is found at 1.5240, the highest level seen since the beginning of May.
Above, 1.5350 worked as a pivotal line in April, and is now a resistance line. Higher, 1.5530 is the highest level since the beginning of the year, and worked as stubborn resistance line during many days in April. Higher, 1.5833 provided support before the pair collapsed, and later worked as a resistance line.
Looking down, 1.4870 supported the pair in its recent climb upwards and is a strong support line. Further below, 1.4780 was a strong support line in March and April, and recently worked as resistance.
A big collapse of the pair will send it back to 1.4610, last seen at the beginning of June, and then 1.45. The year-to-date low of 1.4227 provides support way down.
I turn bearish on GBP/USD.
The recent weakness of the British economy and the decreasing chances of a rate hike can release the hot air out of the Pound, sending it down.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the forex weekly outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro/Dollar Forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD/USD forecast.
- For the New Zealand dollar (kiwi), read the NZD/USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
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