GBP/USD posted sharp losses for a second successive week, falling 1.0 percent. The upcoming week’s key events are Preliminary GDP and CPI. Here is an outlook for the highlights of this week and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
As expected, the BOE held the benchmark rate at 0.75%. The bank’s rate statement was decidedly dovish, referring to the uncertainties ahead facing the British economy. The bank sharply scaled back its growth forecast, from 1.7% to 1.2%. As well, Services PMI dipped to 50.1 in January, pointing to stagnation in the services sector.
GBP/USD daily graph with resistance and support lines on it. Click to enlarge:
- GDP Data: Monday, 9:30. Preliminary GDP is the first of two quarterly reports. The estimate for Q4 stands at 0.3%, after Final GDP for Q3 posted a strong gain of 0.6%. The monthly GDP release is expected to dip to a flat 0.0%.
- Manufacturing Production: Monday, 9:30. The global trade war has weighed on the U.K. manufacturing sector, and this indicator has rolled off four declines in the past five months. Better news is expected for the December release, with a modest gain of 0.2%.
- Preliminary Business Investment: Monday, 9:30. Weaker economic activity has weighed on business investment, which has produced only one gain in the past four quarters. The markets are braced for a decline of 1.3% for the fourth quarter.
- Inflation Data: Wednesday, 9:30. CPI has been steadily falling and the estimate for January is 1.9%, below the BoE’s inflation target of 2.0%. The Retail Price Index is expected to remain at 2.7%.
- RICS House Price Balance: Thursday, 00:01. The survey is pointing to a softer housing market, with a smaller percentage of surveyors indicating higher property prices. The estimate for January is that 20% more surveyors reported a drop in house prices.
- Retail Sales: Friday, 9:30. This is the key gauge of consumer spending. The indicator has struggled, with three declines in the past four months. January is expected to bring some relief, with a forecast of a 0.2% gain.
GBP/USD Technical analysis
Technical lines from top to bottom:
With the pound declining last week, we start at lower levels:
1.3375 was a high point in July. It is followed by 1.3300 was the high point in September and also a psychologically important round number.
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. The symbolic number of 1.3000 provided support to the pair in late September.
1.2910 was a high point in late November and was tested in support last week.
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 am bearish on GBP/USD
After a strong start to 2019, Brexit blues may have finally caught up with the currency. All sides are saying they don’t want a no-deal scenario, but the gaps between the EU and Britain over the Irish border remain wide, and there is not a great deal of trust between the parties, further hampering attempts to reach a withdrawal deal. If GDP and retail sales are weaker than expected, the pound slide could continue.
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