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  • GBP/USD jumps over 10 pips on upbeat UK Retail Sales for April.
  • UK Retail Sales crossed forecasts and priors on both MoM and YoY basis.
  • UK’s Frost admits “didn’t get a deal wanted for NI”, Indian variant cases more than doubled for second week.
  • Preliminary readings of PMI for May awaited for fresh impulse.

GBP/USD picks up bids near 1.4200, extending the recent bounce off 1.4170, after the UK’s Retail Sales for April came out stronger than expected on Friday. Even so, the cable is barely securing 0.05% gains, which in turn portrays the pair traders’ cautious mood ahead of the key PMI data for May, up for publishing in the next 2.5 hours.

UK Retail Sales jumps above 36.8% forecast and 7.2% prior to 42.4% YoY while also flashing a 9.2% MoM increase versus 4.5% market expectations and 5.1% revised down previous readings.

Read:  UK Retail Sales unexpectedly jumps 9.2% MoM in April vs. 4.5% expected, GBP/USD tests 1.42

In addition to the wait for May’s UK PMI data, British diplomat David Frost’s disappointment over not getting the wanted deal for Northern Ireland also tests the GBP/USD buyers. Also on the Brexit side could be the need of the basic checks for the UK travelers while heading to Spain, France and Portugal among other European nations.

Also negative for the sterling pound could be the doubling of Indian strain of covid for the second consecutive week. On Thursday, UK PM Boris Johnson conveyed optimism over unlocking while suggesting fewer fears from the Indian strain of the virus.

Even so, the UK’s successful recovery from the pandemic enables it to join hands with the World Health Organization (WHO) to identify covid variants.

On the other hand, the US dollar index (DXY) remains pressured as reflation fears ebb, preceded by the previous day’s upbeat Jobless Claims.

Against this backdrop, stock futures print mild gains but the US Treasury yields wobble around 1.63% by the press time.

Following an upbeat reaction to the UK Retail Sales, GBP/USD traders need another strong reading and hence May’s Manufacturing, as well as Services, PMI will be closely watched. Forecasts suggest, the Manufacturing PMI to ease from 60.9 to 60.00 but the key Services PMI should rise beyond 61.00 prior to 62.00.

“For today’s PMIs, we look for manufacturing to edge just slightly lower to 60.5 (mkt 60.7), but still hold at a high level as global manufacturing activity continues to hold up well. For the services PMI we look for another increase to 62.2 (mkt 62.0), just about reading its October 2013 high, as the UK economy continues to relax is rules. As of 17 May, indoor dining, hotels, and international travel are allowed again,” said TD Securities ahead of the event.

Technical analysis

GBP/USD justifies its bounce from 10-day SMA to aim for the key hurdle around mid-1.4200. However, oscillators are likely testing the pair’s further upside. During the run-up to 1.4250 resistance confluence, comprising an ascending trend line from April 20 and February’s high, the 1.4200 threshold and monthly peak near 1.4220 offer intermediate halts. Meanwhile, a 10-day SMA level of 1.4128 can test the pullback moves before highlighting the 1.4010-4000 horizontal support area.


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