British Pound Outlook – November 9-13 2009

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Looking for the latest outlook, for the current week? Check out the section: GBP/USD Forecast

After enjoying a rather positive rate decision, big tests await the Pound – employment figures. Will the Pound enjoy them as well? Or will the ongoing British recession be reflected in these numbers as well? Here’s an outlook for the main events in Britain, and updated technical analysis for GBP/USD:

GBP/USD chart with support and resistance lines marked on it:

GBP/USD British Pound Forecast

The previous rate statement already contained hidden hints about expanding the QE program. Last week’s decision brought an expansion, but at smaller scale – 25 billion, and this helped the Pound. Bad Non-Farm Payrolls in the US didn’t stop the Pound. All eyes are on this week’s Claimant Count Change, and there are other events. Let’s review them:

  1. BRC Retail Sales Monitor: The British Retail Consortium publishes this report, which is an unofficial alternative to the official releases, beating it by more than a week. Last month’s report showed a rise of 2.8%, after a drop in the previous month. It’s expected to edge up this time. Published on Tuesday at midnight GMT.
  2. RICS House Price Balance: This indicator by RICS shows the percentage of British areas reporting a rise (or fall) in prices. After many months of a negative figure, this indicator was positive in the past two months, beating expectations 7 times in a row. 22% last month is expected to be followed by 29% this time. Published on Tuesday at midnight GMT, together with the previous figure.
  3. Trade Balance: British trade balance is traditionally negative – meaning there’s a deficit. This deficit has slightly squeezed in recent months, edging down to 6.2 billion pounds. It’s predicted to edge down some more, to 6.1 billion. A smaller deficit will help the Pound. Published on Tuesday at 9:30 GMT.
  4. CB Leading Index: This composite index is based on figures that have already been released, but can still surprise in its overview of the British economy. It showed growth in the past 5 months, rising 0.9% last time. It’s predicted to continue rising. Published on Tuesday at 10:00 GMT.
  5. Claimant Count Change: This is the most important employment release in Britain, and related to the previous month – October in this case. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits has risen constantly from April 2008. Last month showed a rise of 20.8K people, significantly less than expected, and the lowest in 14 months. It’s expected to stay stable, and move to 20.2K. The Pound will shake in any case. Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT.
  6. Unemployment Rate: This employment figure, released with the Claimant Count Change, relates to the month before the previous one – September in this case. Despite being a late release, this figure is highly quoted by the media, and impacts the Pound. In the past two months, the unemployment rate “refused” to rise to 8%, beating economists’ expectations and standing on 7.9%. Predictions are for a rise to 8%. Again.
  7. BOE Inflation Report: The Bank of England publishes this important quarterly report on Wednesday at 10:30 GMT. Prices are slowing down in Britain in recent months, together with the economy. The BoE might miss the 1-3% inflation target. This report goes beyond inflation and dives into the whole economic situation and monetary policy. Britain is still in recession. Mervyn King, governor of the BoE, will follow this report with a press conference to explain the report and answer questions.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

After weathering the dollar’s strength in the previous week, the Pound made a nice rise this week. It initially fell down to 1.6260, but recovered quickly, riding on the positive rate decision, to close the week at 1.6610.

I’ve updated some of the support and resistance lines from last week’s GBP/USD outlook. Looking up, a strong Pound will meet the 1.67 line, which served as a strong resistance line in many occasions this year.

Further above, 1.7042 was the peak during August, and will serve as a resistance line if the Pound rallies.

Looking down, 1.6110 is the first significant support line, serving as a resistance line before the Pound made its comeback, and serving as support beforehand. Below that, 1.5720 is a major support line, holding the Pound’s downfall a few weeks ago, and also earlier this year.

Despite the Pound’s recent strength, and also the relatively positive rate decision, the British economy is still in trouble. My bearish sentiment holds on.

Only very strong employment figures, such as a fall in the Claimant Count Change could convince me that something is getting better in Britain.

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    Yohay Elam – Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I’ve accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I’ve earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I’ve worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.