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  • GBP/USD has firmed on the vaccine roll-out  despite a stronger dollar.
  • The UK’s lockdown-easing plan is buoying the currency with less prospect of negative rates.  

GBP/USD is trading at 1.3816 at the  time of writing, down 0.10% on the day having travelled from a high of 1.3865 to a low of 1.38 the figure. However, the price doesn’t tell the whole story.  

Last week’s positioning data was more bullish. Net GBP long positions surged to their highest levels since April 2018.  

”Optimism about the impact of the UK’s rapid vaccine roll-out programme on the country’s recovery has been feeding bullish bets on the pound,” analysts at Rabobank explained.  

”Net longs were previously lifted by the more hawkish than expected take-away from the February BoE policy meeting.”

  • UK PM Johnson: Have to remain prudent on speed of re-opening

With more than 21 million people having received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, investors are optimistic  despite still having  the biggest official coronavirus death toll in Europe.

However, the progress towards opening the economy, with the likes of schools reopening this Monday as part of the UK’s lockdown-easing plan, is buoying the currency with less prospect of negative rates.  

The Bank of England’s Governor, Andrew Bailey,  sounded a cautious note last week when he  warned that  risks to the UK economy remain tilted to the downside.    

Bailey argues that the Unemployment Rate is likely to rise and remain higher a year from now.    

“There is a growing sense of economic optimism in markets and in consumer and business measures.    A note of realism though. Our latest forecast painted a picture of an economy that starts at a lower level of activity,”  Bailey said in noteworthy comments ahead of the  BOE  meeting.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week laid out his budget plan last week. The intentions are to further extend the covid-stimulus packages as well as a corporate tax hike from 2023.

GBP/USD technical analysis

The daily chart’s Mformations has been completed at the neckline with the correction meeting the 38.2% Fibonacci.  

The consolidation in the 4-hour chart exposes the risks of a breakout to the downside and a re-test of the spike lows which guards the next layer of support structure.