Final GDP and purchasing managers’ indices lead the busy economic calendar in the UK. Here’s an outlook for the events in Britain and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
GBP/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
The headline from the British government’s emergency budget is a raise of sales tax. This didn’t impact forex trading. On the other hand, we saw that one member voted to raise the rates in the last MPC meeting. This sent the Pound way up. Let’s start:
- Nationwide HPI: Publication time unknown at the moment. The Nationwide Building Society has shown three consecutive months of rises in prices of homes. This came after a one time dip. After rising by 0.5% last months, prices are predicted to rise by a smaller scale this time.
- Net Lending to Individuals: Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. The Brits are being more careful in lending – the past few months showed very low level of lending – 0.3 and 0.4 billion, significantly lower than expected. Less lending means less economic activity. This trend is expected to continue.
- GfK Consumer Confidence: Published on Tuesday at 23:00 GMT. This survey of 2,000 consumers showed that consumers’ pessimism is growing. After the score already reached -13, it fell back to -18 last month. The negative numbers mean pessimism, and this will probably grow once again.
- Final GDP: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT. The final version of Britain’s first quarter GDP is expected to confirm the improved second release and show a growth rate of 0.3% in the first quarter. Only an upwards revision of this weak growth rate will boost the Pound, but this isn’t likely. The next quarters will probably be worse in Britain, with budget cuts expected to take their toll on the economy.
- Current Account: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT, and overshadowed by the GDP. This quarterly release lags behind the related figure – trade balance. Nevertheless, it always shakes the Pound. Britain’s deficit significantly squeezed in Q4 to 1.7 billion pounds, much less than expected. A similar deficit is expected this time.
- Manufacturing PMI: Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT. This purchasing managers’ index has been positive in the past 8 months, reaching a peak of 58 points in the past two months. This survey of 600 purchasing managers, which is expected to slide this time, always rocks the Pound
- BOE Credit Conditions Survey: Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT, and somewhat overshadowed by the PMI release. This is a good indicator of economic activity. The quarterly release make it an important release for the Pound. Worsening credit conditions will hurt the currency.
- Construction PMI: Published on Friday at 8:30 GMT. The construction sector was slower to recover, with the PMI rising above 50 only three months ago. Since then, this indicators rose nicely. From 58.5 last month, its expected to drop this time.
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
The beginning of the week wasn’t good for the pair, as it fell below 1.4780. It then began a nice rally and eventually managed to close above the critical line of 1.5050, at 1.5060.
If the break above 1.5050 is indeed confirmed, the next level is 1.5130, which provided strong support during April. Above, 1.5350 was a strong pivotal line that the pair played with before collapsing, and is now a resistance line.
Higher, 1.5530 was a strong resistance line and the highest level in four months, and provides strong resistance. Even higher, I’ve added a higher line on last week’s outlook – 1.5833. This worked as a strong support line, and later as resistance.
Looking down, the 1.4780 line remains intact, despite being broken several times. The next line of support is 1.4610 – a minor line. Lower, 1.45 worked as a support line and is another minor line.
1.44 is already a strong line of support. A break below will open the road for the year-to-date low of 1.4227, which is another significant support line.
I’m still neutral on the pair.
The rising inflation that I’m mentioning over and over finally got attention in the recent MPC meeting minutes – a Pound bullish sign, but the UK’s troubles are still deep. A downgrade revision of the GDP could be painful for cable.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the forex weekly outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro/Dollar Forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD/USD forecast.
- For the New Zealand dollar (kiwi), read the NZD/USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
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