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The  British pound  showed some movement during the week but closed unchanged, at 1.6091. This week’s key events  are Retail Sales and Preliminary GDP.  Here is an outlook on the major events moving the  pound and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The US dollar held its own last week, despite weakness in US retail sales and a  disappointing PPI reading. US employment numbers continue to looks strong, with the best jobless claims in over a decade. In the UK, the pound lost ground following a weak CPI reading. UK job data was a mix, as the unemployment rate fell more than expected, but jobless claims missed expectations.

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GBP/USD graph with support and resistance lines on it.

GBPUSDForecast Oct20-24


  1. Rightmove HPI:  Sunday, 23:01. This housing inflation index provides a snapshot of the amount of activity in the UK housing sector. The index posted a gain of 0.9% in the previous reading, marking a 9-month high.
  2. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Tuesday, 8:30. The indicator posted a large deficit of 10.9 billion pounds in September, higher than the estimate of 10.3 billion. An improvement is expected in the upcoming release, with the forecast standing of 9.3 billion.
  3. 10-year Bond Auction:  Tuesday, Tentative. The yield on 10-year bonds has been dropping and came in at 2.57% in previous release. This is the lowest yield recorded since June 2013.
  4. MPC Asset Purchase  Facility Votes:  Wednesday, 8:30. Analysts closely monitor the voting breakdown of the MPC vote on QE, which is expected to be a unanimous 9-0 decision. A non-unanimous vote indicates some dissension by policymakers as to the desirable QE level.
  5. MPC  Official Bank Rate  Votes: Wednesday, 8:30. The previous vote was 7-2, with 2 members favoring a hike in rates while the majority were in favor of maintaining  interest rates at 0.50%.  The markets are anticipating another 7-2 vote, and a split vote could cause some movement from the pair.
  6. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. Retail Sales is the most important consumer spending indicator, and can have a significant effect on the movement of GBP/USD. The indicator posted a gain of 0.4% in the previous release, matching the forecast. The markets are expecting a softer reading for September, with the estimate standing at -0.1%.
  7. BBA Mortgage Approvals: Thursday, 8:30. The indicator dipped to 41.6 thousand last week, its lowest level since August 2013. This fell short of the estimate of 42.9 thousand. The estimate for the September reading stands at 41.5 thousand.
  8. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Thursday, 10:00. The indicator tends to show sharp fluctuations and  came in at -4 points, well  below the  estimate of +9 points. Little change is expected in the upcoming release, with an estimate of -3 points.
  9. Preliminary GDP: Friday, 8:30. This is the earliest and most important GDP release, which is issued every quarter. An unexpected reading can have a major impact on the movement of GBP/USD. The indicator will be hard pressed to surpass  the Q2  gain of 0.9%, the best since Q3 of 2012.

* All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD  opened the week at 1.6090 and quickly touched a  high of 1.6126, as resistance held at 1.6131 (discussed last week). The pair then dropped all the way to 1.5873.  GBP/USD recovered  and closed the week  at 1.6091.

Live chart of GBP/USD:

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Technical  lines from top to bottom

We  begin with resistance at 1.6465, which was the bottom in March. Further below, the round number of 1.64 is providing resistance.

1.6310, the next resistance line, was a cushion during  January.

1.6250 continues to be a strong resistance line.

1.6131 held firm and starts the week as immediate resistance.

The first line of support is at  1.6006, just above the psychologically important 1.60 level.

1.5909 is  the next support level. It has held firm since November 2013.

Next is 1.5746, which was an important support line in January 2013.

The final support line for now is 1.5625.

I am  neutral on GBP/USD.

Both the US and UK economies  continue to  improve, led by solid employment numbers. The markets are expecting rate hikes in both countries, but low inflation levels have eased pressure on the Fed and BOE  to  make a move.

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Further reading:  Who will raise interest rates first – the US or UK?