GBP/USD Outlook Mar 31-Apr 4

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GBP/USD reversed directions last week, gaining 140 points. The pair closed the week at 1.6636. This week’s highlights are the PMI releases. Here is an outlook for the main events moving the pound, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

US Unemployment Claims and GDP looked solid last week, but housing numbers failed to meet expectations. In the UK, CPI continues to lose ground but Retail Sales was very sharp and helped push the pound higher.

Updates:

GBP/USD graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:  GBPUSD Forecast Mar. 28-Apr4

  1. Net Lending To Individuals: Monday, 8:30. This indicator is an important gauge of consumer spending, as borrowing by consumers usually translates into consumer spending. The January release came in at 2.1 billion pounds, short of the estimate of 2.5 billion. The estimate for the February release stands at 2.3 billion.
  2. BOE Governor Mark Carney Speaks: Monday, 17:15. Carney will speak at a Bank of England press conference in London . The markets will be looking for hints as to the BOE’s future monetary policy.
  3. Manufacturing PMI: Tuesday, 8:30. Manufacturing PMI has been fairly steady, with the February indicator coming in at 56.9 points, matching the forecast. The markets are not expecting much change in the upcoming release.
  4. Nationwide HPI: Wednesday, 6:00. This housing price index is an important gauge of activity in the housing sector as well as consumer confidence and spending. The previous release posted a 0.6% gain, matching the estimate. The estimate for the upcoming release is 0.7%.
  5. Construction PMI: Wednesday, 8:30. This index has looked strong, with four consecutive readings above the 60 point level, indicating strong expansion in the construction industry. The previous release came in at 62.6 points, short of the estimate of 63.3 points. The estimate for the March release stands at 63.1 points.
  6. 30-year Bond Auction: Wednesday, Tentative. The 30-year bond has been steady, with the previous yield coming in at 3.59%. Little change is expected in the upcoming release.
  7. BOE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe Speaks: Wednesday, 11:45. Cunliffe will speak at an event in Birmingham. A speech that is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
  8. Services PMI: Thursday, 8:30. Services PMI has been losing ground since October, although the readings remain at high levels. The previous release came in at 58.2 points, just above the forecast of 58.0 points. The estimate for the March release stands at 58.2 points.
  9. BOE Credit Conditions Survey: Thursday, 8:30. This report is released by the BOE on a quarterly basis. It is linked to spending in the private sector, as an increase in debt generally translates into more spending.
  10. Halifax HPI: Friday, 4th -8th. The index has moved up sharply in 2014 and posted a strong gain of 2.4% last month. The markets are expecting a smaller gain in February, with an estimate of 0.7%.

* All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.6494. The pair quickly touched a low of 1.6466, breaking below support at 1.6475 (discussed last week). GBP/USD then reversed directions and climbed to a high of 1.6651. GBP/USD closed the week at 1.6636.

Live chart of GBP/USD:




Technical lines from top to bottom

We begin with resistance at 1.7180, which has served in a resistance role since October 2008.

1.6990 is next. This line is protecting the key psychological level of 1.70.

1.6823 has remained intact since November 2009 and is a strong line of resistance.

1.6705 continues in a resistance role. This line has weakened following strong gains by the pound last week.

The round number of 1.6600 was breached last week and has reverted to a support line. It is a  weak line and could see action early in the week.

1.6475 held firm and has some breathing room as GBP/USD trades above the 1.66. line.

1.6343 is the next support level. This line saw some activity in early February but has provided strong support since that time. The next support line is 1.6247.

1.6163 was a key resistance line in October and November 2012.

The round number of 1.60 is the final support level for now. This psychologically important level has remained firm since November.

I am neutral on GBP/USD.

GBP/USD reversed directions and posted strong gains, recovering the losses sustained a week earlier? Which British pound will show up this week? Much will depend on the PMI releases, which remain strong but have tapered off somewhat. In the US, the markets will be keeping a close eye on employment releases, highlighted by Nonfarm Payrolls.

Further reading:

Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs

About Author

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.

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