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The Pound sure was a victim of the dollar’s storm, especially after the Non-Farm Payrolls. It’s at a nine-month low. The upcoming week consists of an important report by the BOE among other events. Here’s an outlook for British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

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

GBP USD forecast

Mervyn King “missed” an opportunity to hurt the Pound in the rate decision. He’ll get another chance this week, with the release of the Inflation report. Also note the interesting NIESR GDP estimate. Let’s start the review. The technical analysis will follow:

  1. BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Published on Tuesday at midnight GMT. This figure is sometimes referred to as the “mini-retail sales”. The British Retail Consortium surveys its own members and gives an early indicator to the retail sales figure that is published later. In the past month it made a nice annualized rise of 4.2%. This time it’s predicted to be softer.
  2. RICS House Price Balance: Published on Tuesday at midnight GMT and slightly overshadowed by the previous figure. This housing price figure shows the balance between areas with rising prices and areas with dropping once. After reaching a peak of 35% in November, the balance fell back to 30%, and this week’s release is predicted to show another dip to 29%.
  3. Trade Balance: Published on Tuesday at 9:30 GMT. Britain has a steady deficit in the trade balance, squeezing in recent months. Last month’s 6.8 billion deficit is expected to be followed by 6.6 this time.
  4. Manufacturing Production: Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT. This major indicator of the economy remained unchanged in the past two months, disappointing the Pound. This time, a rise of 0.4% is predicted. Note that it’s accompanied by the general industrial production figure, but manufacturing, 80% of the industry, moves the markets more.
  5. BOE Inflation Report: Published on Wednesday at 10:30 GMT. This is an important quarterly event, in which the central bank projects the inflation and economic growth for a long time forward. Mervyn King dismissed the rising inflation after it almost got out of the government’s target. Will he continue this stance? With the release of the report, King will hold a press conference and will give a general look at the economy.
  6. NIESR GDP Estimate: Published on Thursday at 15:00 GMT. This independent institute foresaw the ongoing recession in Q3, and was more correct than economists on the poor Q4 growth rate. With a fresh monthly estimate, we’ll get to see how the British economy performed at the end of Q4 and in January 2010. This doesn’t always move the markets immediately, but has an impact on the mood.
  7. CB Leading Index: Published on Friday at 10:00 GMT. Although this compound figure is based on figures that were already released, it does give a good general picture and tends to move the Pound. Last month saw a rise of 0.9%, similar to previous months. A similar number will probably follow.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

Continuing the fall from last week, the Pound traded in a range between 1.5833, December’s low, to 1.6070, which is a new resistance line (didn’t appear last week). Near the end of the week it collapsed, lost the 1.5833 and eventually the almighty 1.5720 line that wasn’t breached in 9 months. The close at 1.5640 is very bearish.

The first and most important resistance line is at 1.5720. Last time it got close to this line, the Pound climbed back in and made a nice comeback. Those days are gone.

Higher, 1.5833 and 1.6070 are the next resistance lines. 1.6270 is the next line, successfully working as such in the past weeks. There more lines above, but they’re too far now.

Looking down, strong support appears at 1.5350. This was the resistance line before the Pound broke upwards, and also served as a resistance line about one year ago.

Even lower, 1.50 played a role as a support and resistance line at the beginning of 2009. It’s also a round number. Even lower, 1.4350 is an important line of support, but the Pound is too far from it. At least now…

I’m bearish on the Pound

Despite some good signs from Britain, the loss of the important support line gets me back to the bearish sentiment. A speech by Mervyn King this week will probably weigh on the Pound as well.

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