GBP/USD was unchanged last week, after sustaining sharp losses a week earlier. Investors will be keeping a close eye on GDP and Manufacturing Production. Here is an outlook for the highlights of this week and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
The Brexit deadline has been extended to April 12, but the deadlock over Britain’s withdrawal has not eased. PMI reports were a mixed bag. Manufacturing PMI improved to 55.1, its highest level in a year. However, Services and Construction PMI both came in under 50, which points to contraction.
U.S. numbers started the week on a sour note, as retail sales and durable goods orders posted declines and missed their forecasts. On Friday, employment data was mixed. Nonfarm payrolls came in at 196 thousand, easily beating the estimate of 172 thousand in March. Still, this reading was significantly lower than the December and January releases, both of which were above the 300-thousand level. Wage growth dipped to 0.1%, shy of the estimate of 0.3%.
GBP/USD daily graph with resistance and support lines on it. Click to enlarge:
- Consumer Inflation Expectations: Monday, 8:30. Inflation expectations help analysts track actual inflation figures. The indicator climbed to 3.2% in the third quarter, its highest level in more than five years.
- BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Monday, 23:01. The British Retail Consortium release has posted three declines in the past four months, pointing to weakness in consumer spending. Will we see a positive reading for March?
- GDP: Wednesday, 8:30. This indicator provides a monthly breakdown of GDP data. In February, the economy posted a strong gain of 0.5%, above the estimate of 0.2%. However, with the Brexit turmoil weighing on the economy, the markets are expecting a weak gain of 0.2% in March.
- Manufacturing Production: Wednesday, 8:30. The manufacturing production has struggled in recent months. The indicator surprised with a strong gain of 0.8% in January, after three straight declines. The forecast for February stands at 0.2%.
- NIESR GDP Estimate: Wednesday, Tentative. This indicator, released monthly, helps analysts track GDP, which is posted quarterly. The indicator has been slowing and dropped to 0.1% in February.
- RICS House Price Balance: Wednesday, 23:01. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicator is pointing to deflation in house prices, with most surveyors showing a drop in house prices.
- CB Leading Index: Friday, 13:30. The Conference Board release is based on 7 economic indicators. In January, the indicator declined 0.4%. Will see a rebound in the February release?
GBP/USD Technical analysis
Technical lines from top to bottom:
The round number of 1.34 has held in resistance since June 2018.
1.3375 was a high point in July. It is followed by the round number of 1.3300 which saw activity during the week. It is currently a weak resistance line.
1.3217 was the high point of the pound rally in late January.
1.3170 was a swing high in early November.
1.3070 was a high point in mid-November.
1.2910 has held in support since mid-February,
1.2850 capped recovery attempts in late November.
1.2728 was active in the first half of January.
1.2616 is the final support level for now.
I remain bearish on GBP/USD
The Brexit crisis shows no signs of being resolved, as Prime Minister May has been unable to push her withdrawal agreement through parliament. This means that a hard Brexit, which would hurt the economy, remains a strong possibility. GDP and manufacturing production are expected to post weak gains, which could sour investors on the British currency.
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