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The pound couldn’t ignore the raging debt crisis and tested lower ground. The upcoming week consists of the MPC meeting minutes that will show the direction of rates, as well as key consumer information. Here is an outlook for the British events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

British inflation is easing once again. It surprisingly dropped to 4.2%, lifting some pressures for a rate hike. And there’s no need for intense pressure when the economy sees another rise in jobless claims.

GBP/USD chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:GBP USD Chart  July 18 22 2011

  1. Nationwide Consumer Confidence: Publication time unknown at the moment; delayed from last week. 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. Rightmove HPI: Sunday, 23:00. This isn’t the most accurate house price report available, but it is the earliest and also published early in the week. It has been surprisingly positive in the past 6 months. A drop now won’t be that surprising.
  3. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 8:30. Concerning the British pound, the real rate event is with the meeting minutes. We will get to hear the sentiment regarding the economy. Last time, the view was gloomy and dovish, pushing market expectations to the next summer, and weighing on the pound. The vote on a hike is expected to remain unchanged at 7:2. Any intensified discussion of QE2 in Britain will push the pound lower.
  4. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Wednesday, 8:30. The British government is focusing on cutting the deficit. Recent figures have shown that success is limited here, with high deficits still running. Borrowing is expected to remain at similar levels to last month’s 15 billion pounds.
  5. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. This important consumer indicator was a bitter disappointment in May: the hangover from the Royal Wedding kept consumers’ money close to their pockets with a drop of 1.4%. Another drop is expected in June.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

The pound was beaten at the beginning of the week, with a fresh low at 1.5780. It then bounced back nicely, climbing above 1.5910 (discussed last week) and way up to challenge the 1.62 line.

Technical levels, from top to bottom:

We start from a point that is still afar: 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. 1.62 proved to be a tough line of resistance just now. Its role is higher than earlier.

Further below, 1.6110 is another veteran line. For yet another week in a row, this line proved to be very distinctive. Below, the round number of 1.60 provided some, temporary resistance in depressing the pair once again.

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.

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

Downtrend resistance is seen on the chart. It accompanies the pair in the past months, and isn’t too close yet, though should be noticed.

I remain bearish on GBP/USD.

The assessment of the BOE proved correct, at least for now: inflation, that comes from outside the UK, is easing. The British economy continues to slump with more jobless claims. As American QE3 is being dismissed once again, the pair can resume its falls.

More technical analysis: FXTechstrategy sees continued vulnerability GBP/USD.

Further reading:

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