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The British pound didn’t capitalize on the weakness of the US dollar in the past week. It is now expecting key housing figures, retail sales and the meeting minutes, among other events. Here’s an outlook for the British events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

British figures weren’t too good this week: inflation significantly eased, possibly pushing back a rate hike. And the mediocre employment data didn’t help either. We’ll now get hints towards the next rate decision. Let’s start.

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

GBP USD Chart April 18-22

  1. Rightmove HPI: Sunday, 23:00. This report provides a strong start for the pound this week, although it isn’t quite accurate. According to Rightmove, house prices have been on the rise in the past 3 months. Another small rise is expected, lower than last month’s gain of 0.8%.
  2. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 8:30. The last rate decision by the BoE didn’t surprise anyone, as the MPC left the interest rate unchanged at 0.50%. This was overshadowed by the rate hike by the ECB. We’ll now get to hear how the members voted. There’s a good chance that the three members that voted for raising the rates: Sentance (+0.50%), Weale (+0.25%) and Dale (+0.25%) voted again in the same way, while the other 6, including governor Mervyn King, wanted no change. We might get hints for the next decision, in early May.
  3. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Wednesday, 8:30. The current British government vowed to cut the deficit, but this doesn’t work too well. Net borrowing from the public jumped to over 10 billion, after showing a surplus beforehand. This deficit is expected to rise to 19.3 billion pounds, weighing on cable.
  4. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. The official release of retail sales is published on the backdrop of a terrible unofficial release by BRC, which showed a sharp decline in sales. The volume of sales is expected to dip by 0.5%, following a dip last month. This will show that Brits aren’t too confident, and is likely to send the pound to a negative close.
  5. Mortgage Approvals: Thursday, 8:30. This indicator tends to be revised upwards, so the initial, disappointing release should be taken with a grain of salt, though it does move the pound. The report for March is expected to show a small rise in approvals, from 47K to 48K, somewhat sweetening the bad taste from retail sales published at the same time.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

Cable began the week with a drop, and eventually lost the 1.6280 – 1.63 line (discussed last week). It manged to recover but didn’t get too far.

Looking up, we find immediate resistance at 1.64. This is minor support after being a peak on a previous failed attempt to break higher. Just above it, 1.6450, which was a swing high back in January 2010, is already much stronger resistance.

Moving higher, find minor resistance appears at 1.6515, a line that worked as support at the end of 2009. Resistance of higher significance is found at 1.67, which capped the pair several times at that period of time.

Higher above the pair will encounter 1.6877 which was a peak another peak. It’s only minor resistance now. For now, the final resistance line is 1.7042,  a peak reached in August 2009, and the highest level since the height of the financial crisis.

Looking down, initial support is found at the region of 1.6280 – 1.63. This isn’t as strong as beforehand, as it was broken through several times now. It was a peak back in November and worked as resistance since then.

Lower, the next line of support is at 1.6110 – a line that also switched roles and proved its strength preventing falls.  It’s followed by the round number of 1.60 continues to work as support, since August 2010, when it was a peak. It’s importance is diminishing.

Stronger support is found at 1.5940 after it prevented a bigger fall. This is the key line on the downside now.  Lower, the 1.5820 line, which served in both directions before the pair moved higher is a minor support line.

Not too far down, 1.5750 which is already a stronger line provides somewhat stronger support.  An even stronger line is 1.5650. This was the upper border of wide range that GBP/USD traded before shifting to a higher range. There are more lines below, but they’re getting too far.

I remain bearish on GBP/USD.

A weak British economy isn’t new, but this is finally reflected in lower inflation, easing the pressure for a rate hike and weakening the British pound.

More on the pound:

Further reading: