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The British pound   jumped close to 1.55, but was unable to consolidate at these levels and closed the week with slight losses. The pair closed at 1.5123. This week’s highlights are PMI reports and the parliamentary election. Here is an outlook on the major events moving the pound and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

US numbers disappointed last week, as Consumer Confidence and Manufacturing PMI reports  fell short of  expectations. In the UK, Preliminary GDP was weaker than expected, and the pound slid on Friday after a dismal reading from Manufacturing PMI.

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

GBP_USD_Forecast_May 4-8

 

  1. Halifax HPI: Tuesday, 5th-7th. This housing inflation indicator provides a snapshot of the health of the UK housing sector. The indicator bounced back in March, with a gain of 0.4%. This beat the forecast of 0.1%. Little change is expected in the April release.
  2. Construction PMI: Tuesday, 8:30. PMI reports are key data which can have a strong impact on the movement of GBP/USD. The indicator dipped to 57.8 points in March, well short of the forecast of 59.7 points. More of the same is expected in the April report, with an estimate of 57.6 points.
  3. BRC Shop Price Index: Tuesday, 23:01. This index measures consumer inflation, based on readings from BRC shops. The indicator continues to post declines, and weakened in March, posting a decline of 2.1%.
  4. Services PMI: Wednesday, 8:30. Services PMI improved to 58.9 points in March, marking an 8-month high. This easily beat the forecast of 57.1 points. Little change is expected in the April report, with an estimate of 58.6 points.
  5. Parliamentary Elections: Thursday, All Day.   Voters go to the polls in national elections, with the Conservative Labor parties running neck-and-neck. The uncertainty leading up to the election could lead to volatility in GBP/USD during the week.
  6. Trade Balance: Friday, 8:30. Trade Balance is closely connected to currency demand, as foreigners must by British pounds in order to purchase British goods and services. In February, the deficit swelled to 10.3 billion pounds, much higher than the forecast of 8.9 billion pounds. The forecast for the March report is a deficit of 9.8 billion pounds.

* All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5171 and showed some strength, climbing to a high of 1.5492, testing resistance at 1.5459 (discussed last week). The pound posted strong losses late in the week, dropping to a low of 1.5106. The pair closed at 1.5123.

Live chart of GBP/USD:

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Technical lines from top to bottom

1.5552 marked the start of a dollar rally in late February, which saw GBP/USD drop close to the 1.50 line.

1.5459 was tested last week. The line was an important cap in February.

1.5300 was easily breached but recovered and remains in a resistance role. The next resistance line is 1.5215.

1.5114 is providing weak support. It was tested late in the week and could see further action early this week.

1.5008 continues to provide strong support. It is protecting the symbolic 1.50 level.

1.4813 marked the start of a pound rally in July 2013 that saw GBP/USD climb above 1.61.

1.4602 is the final support level for now.

I am  neutral on GBP/USD.

A hotly contested British election late in the week could result in some volatility from the pair, which ended the week with a sharp drop. Traders should also keep a close eye on British PMI readings. Although US numbers have hit some turbulence, the dollar held its own last week against the pound.

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