The British pound lost about 150 pips against the US dollar, as GBP/USD closed at 1.5571. The upcoming week is very busy, with 13 releases. Here is an outlook for the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
The pound was hurt by last week’s Claimant Count Change, which hit an eight-month high. This indicates that the UK economy is having difficulty creating jobs, which severely hampers economic growth.
Updates: GBP/USD has edged downwards, as the pair was trading at 1.5546. The markets are waiting for the releases of the BOE’s Inflation Report Hearings and the Public Sector Net Borrowing on Tuesday. The markets were braced for a poor reading from the Public Sector Net Borrowing indicator, but the deficit was worst than predicted. The indicator posted a deficit of 15.6 billion, surprising the markets which had forecast a smaller deficit of 13.6B. BOE head Mervyn King testifed before Parliament on Tuesday at the inflation report hearings. He acknowledged that the UK has a large fiscal deficit, and hinted to the central bank resorting to QE. The pound is up against the greenback, as GBP climbed over the 1.56 line. The pair was trading at 1.5622. Mortgage Approvals dropped to 30.2 thousand, well below the market forecast of 32.8K. CBI Realized Sales was outstanding, posting a reading of 42 points. This was the indicator’s best performance since December 2010. GBP/USD was steady, as the pair was trading at 1.5629. Thursday’s UK releases were weak and pointed to an economy which continues to struggle. Nationwide HPI was a disappointment, as the index declined by 0.6%. The market estimate stood at a 0.3% gain. Current Account posted a deficit of 11.2 billion, well below the market forecast of a 8.9B deficit. The BOE released its quarterly Credit Conditions Survey. The report stated that UK banks expect to significantly raise borrowing costs for businesses and home purchasers in Q3. Such a step could hamper attempts to revive the anemic UK economy. Final GDP contracted by 0.3%, unchanged from the May release. Revised Business Investment climbed 1.9%, but this was well below the market forecast of 3.6%. The pound has lost ground as a result of the disappointing data as well as market pessimism about the EU summit. GBP/USD was trading at 1.5559.
- Public Sector Net Borrowing: Tuesday,8:30. Public Sector Spending was outstanding last month, posting a surplus of 18.8 billion. However, the markets are forecasting a deficit of 13.31 for the June reading.
- Inflation Report Hearings: Tuesday, 9:00. This will be the first release of BOE’s inflation report hearings since February. The markets will be looking for some clues as to future monetary policy by the BOE.
- BBA Mortgage Approvals: Wednesday, 8:30. This indicator has been quite steady over the past three readings, and little change is expected for the June reading.
- CBI Realized Sales: Wednesday, 10:00. This indicator climbed to 21 points last month, its first foray into positive territory in 2012. For the June reading, the markets are forecasting a drop to 14 points.
- Nationwide HPI: Thursday, 6:00. Housing Inflation recorded a reading of 0.3% last month. The June estimate is 0.5%, which would signal strong activity in the housing market.
- Current Account: Thursday, 8:30. Current Account has posted two large deficits for the past two readings. Another substantial deficit is forecast for the June release.
- BOE Credit Conditions Survey: Thursday, 8:30. This survey looks at the credit issued to both households and businesses. The report is released quarterly, and the data is based is on a survey of bank and non-bank lenders.
- Final GDP: Wednesday, 8:30. GDP contracted by 0.3% in May, and the weak reading hurt the British pound. No change is expected in the June readings.
MPC Member Matin Weale Speaks: Thursday, 17:00. Analysts will be looking for clues to future trends or decisions regarding the BOE’s monetary policy, especially regarding interest rates.
GfK Consumer Confidence: Thursday, 23:01. Consumer confidence has been in a deep freeze during 2012, with the previous reading coming in at -29 points. Little change is expected in this month’s release.
Index of Services: Friday, 8:30. This index measures the GVA (Gross Value Added) of the private and government services sectors. The index rose 0.1% last month, and the estimate for June stands at 0.3%.
BOE Governor Mervyn King Speaks: Friday, 9:30. Remarks by the head of the BOE can affect the movement of the pound. Analysts will be listening carefully for any clues about interest rate and monetary policy.
BOE Financial Stability Report: Friday, 9:30. This report is released bi-annually by the BOE. It focuses on the UK financial system and discusses potential risks to the stability of the system. A report which is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
*All times are GMT
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5713. The pair climbed to a high of 1.5777, as resistance at 1.5805 (discussed last week) held firm. GBP/USD then retraced, dropping all the way down to 1.5557. The pair closed the week at 1.5571.
Technical levels from top to bottom
We start at lowers levels after the pound’s fall this week. There is resistance at 1.6150, which has held firm since early May. 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. This line held firm as the pound made a move upwards early in the week. Close by is 1.5750, which was tested this week for the first time since May.
Next, there is resistance at 1.5648, which has been alternating between support and resistance roles. Close by, the round figure of 1.5600 is providing weak resistance, after supporting the pair just last week. This line could be tested further if the pound moves strengthens.
GBP/USD is receiving weak support at 1.5521. Next, there is stronger support at 1.5415. Below, there is support at 1.5361, a line which has held firm since early June. Close by, there is support at 1.5309. This line has not been breached since September 2010. This is followed by support at 1.5229. The next support level is at 1.5124, which has not been tested since July 2010. The final support line for now is at 1.5054, which was last breached when the pair moved up sharply in June 2010.
I am bearish on GBP/USD.
The pound had a poor weak, as weak UK data and instability in the Euro-zone are weighing on the pound. With the US also showing weakness, the pound could face more trouble unless the markets see some stronger UK releases.
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