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A very busy week awaits cable traders. Every day provides a major economic indicator to rock the pound. Here is an outlook for the British events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The British economy continued growing in Q2, by 0.2%. This slow growth rate was cheered by the pound, due to fears that the economy would contract once again, as it did in Q4 2010. The overall picture remains mediocre. We’ll get more data now:

GBP/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:GBP USD Chart August 1 5 2011

  1. Halifax HPI: Publication time unknown at the moment. This is one of the most accurate and highly regarded house price indices. The reason is the wide base of the data: internal mortgage numbers from HBOS. After a few weak months, including drops, the bank surprised last month with a big rise in prices: 1.2%. A correction is likely this time.
  2. Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 8:30. The first in the series of purchasing managers’ indices has disappointed in the past 4 months. It dropped from above 60 points down to 51.3 last month, indicating very slow growth. A similar figure is likely now. A drop under 50 will imply contraction, and we aren’t too far from such a scenario.
  3. Construction PMI: Tuesday, 8:30. The construction sector is doing a little bit better. The past three months saw more solid growth, with the score ranging between 53.3 to 54 points. A small rise is expected from the 53.6 point score recorded in June.
  4. Services PMI: Wednesday, 8:30. The last sector is the biggest one: activity in the services sector also deteriorated, but managed to edge up to 53.9 points last month. A dip is likely now. Any result will shake the pound, in this all-important figure.
  5. Rate decision: Thursday, 11:00. While there are worries about rising inflation, no rate hike is expected anytime soon. The British economy is growing very slowly, and the MPC awaits prices to cool without intervention. When no policy change is made, only a very short statement is released. So, the meeting minutes published two weeks later have a stronger impact than the decision itself. The pound usually slides on these decisions.
  6. PPI: Friday, 8:30. Producer prices picked up last month and rose by 0.4%, correcting some of the big 1.7% drop beforehand, in the major PPI Input figure. While volatility is high here, PPI provides some guidance towards the CPI, so also this release shakes the markets. PPI Output, the minor figure, will likely remain unchanged this time.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

Pound/dollar started the week under the 1.6280 to 1.63 range (discussed last week), before making a break higher. Another fall saw another move higher, a move that met resistance at 1.6470 before closing at 1.6423.

Technical levels, from top to bottom:

We start from a point that was the highest this year: 1.6750. This line also had a role in the past, and might be tackled on an upwards move. Minor resistance is found at 1.6623, which was support when the pair was trading higher.

1.6550 was a peak at the end of May and is a distant resistance line. 1.6470 is a tough line of resistance, that capped the pair three times in June and worked perfectly well now

The veteran 1.6280 to 1.63 isn’t too far off, proved to be a very strong line. It was a peak several times in recent months and worked better as support. 1.62 was a very distinctive line just now. It capped GBP/USD, but after the break, it immediately turned into support.

Further below, 1.6110 is another veteran line. It quickly turned into support before the next move higher. Below, the round number of 1.60 was the base of the leap.

1.5940, which was a previous swing low, returns to play a role now, but a minor one. 1.5910, which was a peak many months ago, worked perfectly as support after the pair climbed back up. It is an important line now.

1.5820 is only a minor line. It delayed the comeback. The fresh low of 1.5780 is the next support line, which will be tested on the next fall.

I am neutral on GBP/USD.

The relief felt with Britain not falling into recession sure helped the pound and will likely continue. Fresh economic data for July provides downside risk.

Further reading:

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