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GBP/USD  lost close to a cent last week, as the pair closed at 1.6567.  This week’s highlight is Manufacturing Production. Here is an outlook for the main events moving the pound, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

British PMIs missed their estimates last week, and the pound responded with losses. In the US, Non-farm Employment Change improved in March but fell short of expectations.

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GBP/USD graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:   GBPUSD Outlook Apr7-11

  1. Manufacturing Production:  Tuesday, 8:30. Manufacturing Production is the highlight of the week. The indicator posted a gain of 0.4%, edging above the estimate of 0.3%. The markets are not expecting much movement, with an estimate of 0.3%.
  2. NIESR GDP Estimate: Tuesday, 14:00.  This indicator helps track GDP on a monthly basis, as the official GDP release is released each quarter. The indicator has been quite steady and has posted two straight readings of 0.8%, pointing to healthy economic growth.
  3. BRC Shop Price Index: Tuesday,  23:01. The index measures consumer inflation, but is limited to shops belonging to the BRC chain. The indicator continues to move further into negative territory, with the previous reading coming in at -1.4%. Will the downward trend continue in the March release?
  4. Trade Balance: Wednesday,  8:30. The UK continues to post monthly trade deficits. In February, the deficit swelled to 9.8 billion pounds, well above the estimate of -8.7 billion. The estimate for the February estimate stands at -9.3 billion.
  5. RICS House Price Balance: Wednesday,  23:01. The indicator is an important gauge of housing inflation, which helps analysts track the strength of the housing market. The indicator has been dropping since November, and dipped to 45% last month, well  below the estimate of 52%. The downward trend is expected to continue, with an estimate of 44%.
  6. Asset Purchase Facility: Thursday,  11:00. Asset Purchase Facility is the BOE’s bond-buying program. The indicator has been pegged at 325 billion pounds since July 2012, and no change is expected in the upcoming release. Analysts will be interested in the breakdown of the vote, which will be published later in the month.
  7. Official Bank Rate: Thursday,  11:00. The benchmark interest rate has held steady at 0.50% since March 2009. With the British economy showing strong improvement, there has been speculation that we could see a hike in rates, but the BOE continues to dampen these sentiments. The markets are not expecting a rate move by the BOE in this week’s rate statement.
  8. CB Leading Index:  Friday, 9:00. The index is based on seven economic indicators, but it is a minor event since most of the data has been previously released. The indicator bounced back last month, posting a respectable gain of 0.7%.

* All times are GMT


GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.6646.  The pair touched a  high of  1.6684.  GBP/USD then reversed directions and broke through support at 1.66 (discussed last week), dropping to  a low of 1.6551.  GBP/USD  closed the week at 1.6567.

Live chart of GBP/USD:

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Technical lines from top to bottom

We  start with resistance at 1.7180, which  has served in a resistance role since October 2008.

1.6990 is next. This line  is protecting the  key  psychological  level of 1.70.

1.6823  has remained intact since November 2009 and is a strong line of resistance.

1.6705  has some breathing room as the pound trades at lower levels.

The round number of 1.6600  was breached  for the second straight week  and has  switched  to a  resistance  role. It is a weak line and could see action early in the week.

1.6475  continues to provide the pair with support. This line marked the start of a rally in late March which saw the pound climb close to the 1.67 line.

1.6343 is the next support level. This line saw some activity in early February but has provided strong support since that time. The next support line is 1.6247.

1.6163 was a key resistance line in October and November 2012.

The round number of 1.60 is the final support level for now. This psychologically important level has remained firm since November.


I am  bearish on GBP/USD.

GBP/USD has dropped below the 1.66 line, as the UK economy has slowed down.  A weak Manufacturing Production  release could propel the pound further south.  In the US, market sentiment remains positive, although employment numbers were not as strong as hoped by the markets.

Further reading: