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Improved economic data didn’t help the British pound. The upcoming week consists of no less important figures: inflation and employment. Here is an outlook for the British events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

Yet again, the BOE left the interest rate unchanged, as expected now and for a year from now. Manufacturing production surprised with a strong jump, but this was merely a correction. Stabilization in construction and services weren’t enough to cheer the pound.

GBP/USD chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:GBP USD Chart July 11 15 2011

  1. Nationwide Consumer Confidence: Publication time unknown at the moment. This survey of around 1000 consumers is good gauge of the mood in the UK. It provided a nice surprise last month by leaping to 55 points, much better than expected. A small drop is expected now.
  2. BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Monday, 23:00. The British Retail Consortium represents a significant percentage of British retailers. This makes its preliminary release a good sign for the official figure. After a drop of 2.1% last month, a rise is likely now.
  3. RICS House Price Balance: Monday, 23:00. The balance between regions experiencing price rises and those that experience drops has improved gradually up to the last month. After reaching -20%, the figure fell back to -28%. A small improvement is expected now, but there is little chance that the balance will turn positive.
  4. CPI: Tuesday, 8:30. Britain’s inflation is a significant problem, but the overall state of the economy is even worse. Only a rise above 5% in the headline CPI can trigger a rethink about moving the rates. It is now expected to ease from last month’s 4.5%, but will likely remain above 4%, as PPI remained elevated. Core CPI will likely remain around the 3.3% level seen last month, and the Retail Price Index (RPI) can drop below 5%, after quite some time above this level. A drop of the headline CPI figure under 4% can significantly weaken the pound.
  5. Trade Balance: Tuesday, 8:30. Slightly overshadowed by inflation numbers, Britain’s trade deficit is likely to remain in the 7 to 8 billion pound range seen in previous months. A drop under 7 billion can help the pound.
  6. Employment data: Wednesday, 8:30. In the past three month, jobless claims have been on the rise, and stronger than expected.  Claimant Count Change is expected to rise yet again in June, showing the painful struggle of the economy. Unemployment rate for the month of May is likely to remain unchanged at 7.7%. Many people doubt this figure.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

At the wake of the week, pound/dollar challenged and even temporarily breached the 1.6110 line (discussed last week). The failure to settle above this line sent the pair significantly lower, and it remained depressed.

Technical levels, from top to bottom:

We start from a point that is getting further away: 1.6460 is a tough line of resistance, that capped the pair three times in June. It’s tough resistance that will cap strong recovery attempts.

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. Minor resistance is found at 1.62, that managed to work in both directions around three weeks ago.

Further below, 1.6110 is another veteran line. For another week in a row, this line provided a very strong cap. Below, the round number of 1.60 provided resistance in depressing the pair, and is now of higher importance.

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. It is an important line now.

The next levels below are 1.5820 which was a trough before the current wide range trading and 1.5750.

Stronger support is at 1.5650, with 1.5350 far in the distance.

I remain bearish on GBP/USD.

Despite some stable data from the services sector, growth is still quite muted in Britain. The raging debt crisis in Europe continues to weigh on the pair as well.

Further reading:

 

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