GBP/USD Forecast August 5-9 – Pounds plummets, is 1.20 next?

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GBP/USD declined 1.8% last week, as the pair suffered its worst week in almost three months. It promises to be a busy week, with the release of PMI reports, GDP and manufacturing production. Here is an outlook for the highlights of the upcoming week and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

In the U.K, Manufacturing PMI continued to show contraction and remained at 48.0 for a second straight month. As expected, the BoE held the course on monetary policy, as it maintained the benchmark rate at 0.75%. The week wrapped up with Construction PMI, with a weak reading of 45.3, a third successive reading below the 50-level. This points to ongoing contraction in the construction sector.

The Federal Reserve pressed the rate trigger last week, as the Fed lowered rates for the first time in 10 years. The key question facing investors is whether the move is a “one and done” or is there more easing to come? Clearly, Fed Chair Jerome Powell clearly didn’t want to tip his hat too much in his press conference, but his comment that the cut was a “mid-cycle adjustment to policy” seemed to hint against further easing in the near future. This perception sent the U.S. dollar higher, while stocks headed south. Elsewhere, U.S. employment numbers were a mix. Wage growth climbed 0.3%, above the forecast of 0.2%. However, nonfarm payrolls slipped to 164 thousand, down sharply from 224 thousand a month earlier.

GBP/USD daily graph with resistance and support lines on it. Click to enlarge:

  1. Services PMI: Monday, 8:30. The PMI has been hovering close to the 50-level in recent months, pointing to stagnation in the services sector. In June, the index dipped to 50.2, shy of the estimate of 51.0. The forecast for July is 50.4.
  2. BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Monday, 23:01. The British Retail Consortium survey of BRC retailers is indicating a gloomy picture, with only two gains in 2019. In June, the indicator declined 1.6%, just shy of the forecast of 1.5%. Will we see an improvement in the July release?
  3. Halifax HPI: Wednesday, 7:30. This housing inflation indicator declined 0.3% in June, close to the estimate of -0.4%. This marked the first decline in three months.
  4. RICS House Price Balance: Wednesday, 23:01. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has pointed to an improving situation. In June, surveyors reporting price decreases overtook those reporting an increase by just 1%. The markets had predicted a reading of 12% in favor of the surveyors reports a decrease. The estimate for July stands at 1% in favor of surveyors reporting a decrease.
  5. GDP: Friday, 8:30. The monthly GDP release helps analysts track economic growth, as official GDP is only released each quarter. The May release improved to 0.3%, after two declines. This matched the estimate. The markets are expecting a small gain of 0.1% in June.
  6. Manufacturing Production: Friday, 8:30. This key indicator rebounded in May, posting a strong gain of 1.4%. The markets are braced for a decline of 0.1% in June.
  7. Preliminary GDP: Friday, 8:30. In Q1, second estimate GDP came in at a respectable 0.5%. The markets are braced for a soft second quarter, as the initial estimate stands at a flat 0.0%.

* All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom:

With the pair dropping sharply last week, we start at lower levels:

We start with resistance at 1.2535. Further down is 1.2420.

1.2330 (mentioned last week) switched to a resistance role early in the week. It had provided support since March 2017.

The round number of 1.22 has also switched to resistance role following sharp losses by GBP/USD last week.

1.2080 is protecting the symbolic 1.20 level. 1.1943 is next.

1.1904 was the low point in October 2016.

The round number of 1.18 is the final support level for now.

I am bearish on GBP/USD

It was a disastrous July for the pound, which plunged 4.2%. If the downward slide continues, the symbolic level of 1.20 could fall for the first time since January 2017. The Conservatives lost a by-election last week, leaving their majority in parliament a razor-thin one seat. With the dark clouds of Brexit looming, the pound could face further headwinds.

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Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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