GBP/USD Outlook June 18-22

The British pound continued to rally against the greenback as GBP/USD  gained about 160 pips  this week, closing just under the 1.57 line, at 1.5696. The upcoming week is very busy, with 12 releases. Here is an outlook for the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The pound improved against  the dollar  as US economic data continued to disappoint the markets. Notably, University  of Michigan Consumer Confidence, a key  indicator  was well below the market forecast, falling to a four-month low.

Updates: Rightmove HPI climbed 1.0%, after  a 0.0% reading  in the previous release. CPI, a key indicator, will be released on Tuesday. The pound is down slightly, as GBP/USD was trading at 1.5653. CPI declined slightly, posting a reading of 2.8%. The market estimate stood at 3.0%.  RPI dropped to 3.1%, its lowest level since January 2010. Core CPI came in at 2.2%, a notch below the market forecast of 2.3%. HPI surprised the markets, climbing 1.4%. It was the index’s best performance since last February. The BOE Quarterly Bulletin will be released later on Tuesday. Claimant Count Change had its  worst performance since October 2011. The indicator came in at 8.1 thousand newly unemployed. The markets were expecting a decline of 3.1K.  The  BOE released the minutes of the British Monetary Policy Committee. Four of the nine members of the  Committee, including governor Mervyn King, voted for additional QE in the UK.   This increases  the prospect of further  pound printing in July. As expected, the unemployment rate remained at 8.2%. The Average Earnings Index  jumped 1.4%  , well  above the prediction of 0.8%. The pound continues to look sharp, as it has gained almost four cents against the US dollar in June.  GBP/USD was trading at 1.5730. Retail Sales rebounded strongly, posting a 1.4% gain. This figure beat the market forecast of 1.1%. Government bonds were sold at auction, the first since April. The 10-year yield results were 1.92|1.6. CBI Industrial Order Expectations improved, but the indicator is still in negative territory. The indicator came in at -11 points, well above the market forecast of -19 points. GBP/USD has lost some ground, and was trading just above the 1.57 line, at 1.5707.

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

  1. Greek elections: Sunday, initial results expected before markets open and the impact is set to last for a long time. The Australian dollar is expected to mirror the euro, at least at the beginning of the week, depending on the outcome: a pro-bailout victory(AUD/USD rises at first), an anti-bailout victory (AUD/USD falls at first) or a hung parliament (AUD/USD falls slowly). The moves in this pair could be sharper than in the euro. See details here: how to trade the Greek elections.
  2.  Rightmove HPI: Sunday, 23:01. This housing inflation index tends to fluctuate sharply, making accurate market forecasts tricky. The index fell to 0.0% in May, its lowest level since January. Will the index bounce back into positive territory this month?
  3. MPC Member Paul Tucker Speaks: Monday, 11:30. The markets will be looking for some clues as the BOE’s future monetary policy when BOE Deputy Governor  delivers a speech  in London. A speech that is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
  4. Nationwide Consumer Confidence: 19th – 22nd. This consumer index has only been above the important 50 level once in 2012, indicating weak consumer confidence in the UK economy. The May release was a weak 44 points. The markets are expecting very little change for the June  reading.
  5. CPI: Tuesday, 8:30. This key inflation index came in at 3% in May, its lowest level in over two years. The estimate is unchanged for June.
  6. RPI: Tuesday, 8:30. The Retail Price Index has been steadily declining for the past seven consecutive readings. A further decrease is forecast for June, with a prediction of 3.3%.
  7. BOE Quarterly Bulletin: Tuesday, 23:01. Analysts carefully review this release  by  the central bank,  which is published on a quarterly basis. A report that is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
  8. Claimant Count Change: Wednesday, 8:30. This key indicator was  outstanding in May, as the unemployment rolls were trimmed by 13.7 thousand.  The market forecast calls for another decrease for the June reading, of 4.4K.  Another strong reading could help the pound. The Unemployment Rate is expected to remain unchanged, at 8.2%.
  9. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 8:30. Analysts will be examining how the MPC members voted on most recent setting of interest rates. The minutes also provide a breakdown of the votes for the QE (Asset Purchase Facility) decision.
  10. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. Retail Sales looked awful in May, falling by 2.3%. The markets are expecting a rebound in the June reading, with an estimate of 1.1%.
  11. 10-y Bond Auction: Thursday, tentative. The government will be selling 10-year bonds at this auction, scheduled for Thursday. The previous auction was held in April, with a 2.22% yield.
  12. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Thursday, 10:00.   The indicator dropped sharply in the May reading, posting a very weak 17 points. The markets are expecting an even worse reading this month, of -19. Will the indicator surprise the markets and show some improvement?
  13. MPC Member Martin Weale Speaks: Thursday, 17:30. Mr. Weale is an External BOE MPC member, and analysts will be looking for some clues as to the central bank’s monetary policy in his speech.

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5535. After dropping to a low of 1.5453, the pound moved up sharply, breaking through resistance at 1.5648 (discussed last week), as it climbed to  a high  of 1.5728. The pair then retraced and closed at 1.5696.

Technical levels from top to bottom

We start with resistance at 1.6280, which has held firm since late April. Next, there is resistance at 1.6150.  Below is the  line of  1.5992, protecting the important 1.60 level.

This is followed by resistance  at 1.5930. The next resistance line is just above the 1.58 line, at 1.5805. Close by is 1.5750, which was last tested in late May. This line held firm this week as GBP/USD moved upwards.

The pair is being supported at 1.5648, which has been switching between support and resistance roles. Close by, the round figure of 1.5600 is which is back in a support role. This is followed by support at 1.5521, which was in a  resistance  role just last week.  This line was briefly breached this week before the pound rallied. 1.5415  is the next line of support.  Below, 1.5361 is providing strong support as the pair trades at higher levels.

Close by, the pair is being supported at 1.5309. This line has not been breached since September 2010. Next, there is support at 1.5229. This is followed by the line of 1.5124, which has not been tested since July 2010.

I  bullish on GBP/USD.

The pound continues to impress in June. With the US churning out a spate of weak data, the pound could continue to gain ground if there is bad news out of the Euro-zone, such as unfavorable results in the Greek elections. There is a lot of uncertainty in Europe, and the pound could take advantage of the instability.

Further reading:

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.