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The British pound did quite well despite the bad news it received in the past week. The upcoming week consists of a the second release of GDP as well as other important events. Here is an outlook for these events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The pound was hit by two publications made at the same time: the number of jobless claims jumped by 37K and no supporters are left for a rate hike within the MPC. The lack of support comes as inflation is still strong – 4.4%.

GBP/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:GBP/USD Chart August 22 26 2011

  1. BBA Mortgage Approvals: Tuesday, 8:30. The British Bankers’ Association represents two third of mortgages in the UK. It has recently shown some improvement, with approvals rising to 31.7K in June. Another small rise is likely in July.
  2. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Tuesday, 10:00. After two months of stable order expectations, the figure has plunged again to -10 last month. This survey of manufacturers will likely remain in negative territory once again.
  3. Martin Weale talks: Tuesday, 14:00. This MPC member changed his vote just now. After long supporting a rate hike, he aligned with the rest of the members and voted to leave rates unchanged. His fresh views of the economy will be interesting to hear.
  4. Nationwide Consumer Confidence: Wednesday, 23:00 (delayed from last week). This important survey of around 1000 consumers has managed to stabilize on higher ground recently. It hit 51 points last month, but is now predicted to slide to 46 points.
  5. CBI Realized Sales: Thursday, 10:00. The second indicator from CBI deals with retailers and wholesalers. Also here, a few positive months were followed by a downfall – the past two months disappointed with negative numbers. A drop to -10 is likely now.
  6. GDP: Friday, 8:30. The first release of GDP for the second quarter met expectations with a small growth rate of 0.2%. This will likely be confirmed in the second (and not final) release. The weakness of the economy is also seen in Q3.
  7. Business Investment: Friday, 8:30. The level of business investment dropped in Q1 by 3.2%. Q2 isn’t likely to be much better, with economic activity slowing down in all sectors. Another drop is likely.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

Pound/dollar started off the week with a struggle under the 1.63 line (mentioned last week). It then managed to break higher, and when the tough line of 1.6470 gave way, the pair even temporarily breached the 1.6550 line.

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 proved to be a strong line of resistance. 1.6450 now replaces the tough 1.6470 line, after the breakout. 1.6470at capped the pair three times in June and worked perfectly a few times afterwards.

1.64 is a minor line, after working as resistance.  The veteran 1.6280 to 1.63 has a weaker, somewhat more pivotal role at the moment. It was a peak several times in recent months and usually worked better as support.

1.62 has a weaker role now, but it is still of high importance. It provided a solid bottom when the pair was falling.  Further below, 1.6110 is another veteran line. It quickly turned into support before the next move higher. Yet again, its importance was seen.

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 bearish on GBP/USD.

The new and limited role of the pound as a safe haven isn’t backed by a strong economy. Recent signs have shown that weakness is still here and that the economy could fall into contraction once again, and that the MPC might eventually introduce new QE – pound printing.

Further reading: