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The pound made a last minute effort and managed to jump over tough resistance. This week is quite busy, featuring the rate decision among many events. Here’s an outlook for the British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

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

GBP to USD forecast December 6-10

The weak American Non-Farm Payrolls gave the pound the necessary boost, after struggling. Will it now continue higher, or will it drop? Let’s start:

  1. Halifax HPI: Publication time unknown at the moment. This is one of the most precise house price indices  in Britain, as it’s based on HBOS’ internal data. A surprising 1.8% jump was recorded last month, after a huge fall beforehand. We’re now expecting a small rise of 0.3%. Any figure will rock the pound.
  2. BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Tuesday, 00:00. This unofficial retail sales figure doesn’t represent all of the nation’s sales, but is a great indicator for the economy. BRC showed a rise of 0.8% in the volume of sales, in the middle of the range seen in recent months. A similar number is expected now.
  3. Manufacturing Production: Tuesday, 8:30. Last month saw a disappointment – manufacturing grew by only 0.1%, and the pound lost ground. Stronger growth is expected now, 0.4%. This figure always rocks the pound, and overshadows the wider industrial production number (exp. +0.3%).
  4. NIESR GDP Estimate: Tuesday, 15:00. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research usually has good estimates for growth in the Britain, and their figures are more up to date. In the three months ending in October, they showed a growth rate of 0.5%, slower than 0.8% reported beforehand. The upcoming publication will lean towards Q4 – showing the 3 months ending in November.
  5. BRC Shop Price Index: Wednesday, 00:00. As this figure isn’t overshadowed by other numbers, it’s of importance to the pound. We actually get hear a quick unofficial snapshot at inflation. The annual rate of prices at shops has risen quickly in recent months – from 1.5% to 2.2% last time. Another rise is predicted now.
  6. Trade Balance: Thursday, 9:30. The deficit in British trade balance has remained above 8 billion in recent months, quite high. This isn’t expected to change now, with the deficit only squeezing from 8.2 to 8.1 billion.
  7. Rate decision: Thursday, 12:00. The Bank of England is suffering from internal conflicts – one member, Adam Posen, supports new  quantitative  easing, and is in bad relations with governor Mervyn King. Another member, Andrew Sentance, wants to fight high inflation with a rate hike. The result is expected to be in the middle – unchanged policy at all fronts. The interest rate is likely to remain at 0.50% and no new funds will be allocated to the Asset Purchase Facility.
  8. PPI: Friday, 9:30. Similar to consumer prices, also producer prices began rising. PPI Input, the main figure shocked the markets with a rise of 2.1% last month, following months around 0%. It’s now expected to rise by 0.6%. PPI Output will likely rise by 0.4%. Another big jump will increase pressures for a rate hike.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

Cable struggled under the tough 1.5650 it lost last week and above 1.5470. Only on Friday, it made a big break higher, closing at 1.5770.

Looking up, 1.5840 was a line of support during November, and now serves as immediate resistance. Higher, the round number of 1.60 was a tough resistance line in the summer, and is now only a minor line of resistance.

Stronger resistance is found at 1.6107, which was a peak in October and worked as resistance before the recent fall. 1.6270 is another strong line, that was a peak at the beginning of the year and also in November.

The last line for now is 1.6450, a peak that is almost one year old. There are higher levels, but they’re still far now.

Looking down, minor and immediate support is found rather close – at 1.5720. The 1.5650 line now returns to serve as support, still strong.

Below, the past week’s low at 1.5470 is the next line of support, followed by 1.5350, which cushioned the pair back in August.

Lower, 1.5230 was resistance and 1.5120 was support in the summer. They are the last lines for now.

I am neutral on GBP/USD.

The break of 1.5650 and the optimism in Europe support the pound, yet austerity measures and the divide within the central bank weigh on it. We’re up for another choppy week.

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