GBP/USD July 30 – August 3

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GBP/USD moved upwards during the week, as the pound gained over one cent against the dollar, closing at 1.5734.  There is a host of key releases  in the the upcoming week including the Official Bank Rate, Asset Purchase Facility and three PMIs. Here is an outlook of the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The pound took advantage of some weak data out of the US, including Pending Home Sales and GDP figures. As well, speculation that the Fed may step in to help the US economy led to some weakness in the US dollar.

Updates: The trading week go off to a poor start with Monday’s UK releases. Net Lending to Individuals dropped to its lowest level since February 2011, posting a reading of just 0.3 billion pounds. M$ Money Supply was also down sharply, declining by 1.6%. The markets had forecast a gain of 0.3%. Mortgage Approvals slumped to a three year low, at 44 thousand. The pound was down, as it tested the 1.57 line. USD/GBP was trading at 1.5709. GfK Consumer Confidence remained at -29 points, the third straight month that the indicator has been at that level. The pound weakened, as there the markets are worried that the ECB may not take any concrete steps to address the Euro-zone debt crisis. GBP/USD dropped below the 1.57 level, and was trading at 1.5670. Nationwide HPI declined by 0.7%, well below the market forecast of -0.1%. Manufacturing PMI was a major disappointment, dropping to a three-year low. The index fell to 45.4 points, well below the estimate of 48.6 points. The pound fell following the weak data, although it has recovered somewhat. The pair was trading at 1.5639. The markets cheered the Construction PMI, which posted a reading of 50.9 points. The market estimate stood at 48.2 points. As expected, there were no changes to QE or the key BOE interest rate. QE remained at 375 billion pounds, and the BOE interest rate stayed at 0.50%. The pound was up following the strong PMI, as GBP/USD was trading at 1.5570.

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

  1. Net Lending to Individuals: Monday, 4:30. The indicator has been very steady in recent months, with a previous reading of 1.3 billion pounds. However, the markets are forecasting a sharp drop for this reading, down to 0.8B.
  2. CBI Realized Sales: Monday, 6:00. The indicator sparkled in June, with a reading of 42 points. The market estimate for July is a still-respectable 18 points..
  3. GfK Consumer Confidence: Monday, 19:01.   Consumer confidence has been very weak, with a reading of -29 points in June. Little change is expected in the July reading.
  4. BRC Shop Price Index: Tuesday, 19:01. This consumer index posted a 1.1% gain in June, and the markets will be hoping for a similar increase in July.
  5. Nationwide HPI: Wednesday, 2:00. This housing index was a major disappointment in June, declining by 0.6%. The market forecast calls for another decline, this time of 0.1%.
  6. Halifax HPI: 1st-8th. This index was well above the market forecast in July, and another strong release would be bullish for the pound.
  7. Manufacturing PMI: Wednesday, 4:30. This PMI came in slightly below the 50 point line in the previous reading, and the markets are  expecting a similar reading this time around.
  8. Construction PMI: Thursday, 4:30. Construction PMI disappointed the markets, as the previous reading falling below the 50 point line for the first time since January 2010. The market estimate for the July readings stands at 48.3 points.
  9. Asset Purchase Facility: Thursday, 7:00. The BOE raised QE last time around to 375 billion. No change is expected this month.
  10. Official Bank Rate: Thursday, 7:00. Markets are expecting the key interest rate to be held at 0.50% this month.
  11. Services PMI: Friday, 4:30. This PMI has stayed above the 50 point level for a extended period, indicating ongoing expansion in the services sector. No significant change is expected in the July reading.

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5609. After dropping to a low of 1.5458, GBP/USD rose to a high of 1.5768, briefly breaking past the resistance line of 1.5750 (discussed last week). The pair closed the week at 1.5734.

Technical levels from top to bottom

We begin with resistance at 1.6060. Below, is the line of 1.5992, protecting the important 1.60 level. This is followed by resistance at 1.5930. The next resistance line is just above the 1.58 line, at 1.5805. This line was last breached in late May, as the pound went on a sharp slide.

Close by is 1.5750, which was breached by the pair as the pound strengthened late in the trading week. It could be further tested this week. Next, 1.5648 which has been alternating between support and resistance roles, is currently in a support role.

This is followed by the round figure of 1.5600, which has strengthened as the pair trades at higher levels. . Next, there is support at 1.5521. Below, the pair is receiving support at 1.5415. This is followed by support at 1.5361, a line which has held firm since early June. Close by, there is strong support at 1.5309. This line has not been breached since September 2010.

The next support level is at 1.5229. This is followed by 1.5124, which has not been tested since July 2010. Below, there is support at 1.5054, which was last breached in June 2010. The final support level for now is below the important 1.50 line, at  1.4891.

I am bearish on GBP/USD.

Since June, GBP/USD has had difficulty holding onto any gains for an extended period. The British economy is sputtering, and investors may seek the safe haven of the US dollar if the turmoil in the Euro-zone continues.

Further reading:

Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs

About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.