GBP/USD Outlook – March 15-19

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The Pound enjoyed the dollar’s weakness to rise this week, but still under important resistance levels. The upcoming week consists of important employment figures among other events. Here’s an outlook for British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

GBP/USD chart with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:

British Pound forecast

Mervyn King didn’t make public appearances this week. This could explain the Pound’s strength. We’ll get to hear him this week through the meeting minutes and through his colleagues. Let’s start the review. The technical analysis will follow:

  1. Rightmove HPI: Published on Monday at midnight GMT. This is Britain’s first house price indicator, and it’s also released early in the week. After falling for a few months, this index showed an acceleration in prices, rising by 3.2% last month. A more modest rise is expected this time.
  2. CB Leading Index: Published on Tuesday at 10:00 GMT. Most of this indicators components have already been released. Nevertheless, it can still move the Pound. The leading index slowed down last month, rising by only 0.4%. An insignificant rise is expected this time.
  3. Employment data: Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT. After two months of drops in the number of unemployed people, we had a big rise last time – 23,500. This time, the Claimant Count Change is predicted to rise by 8,700 people, weighing on the Pound. This figure relates to February. At the same time, the Unemployment Rate for January will be released. Despite being a late figure, it’s highly quoted by the media and also shakes the Pound. A rise from 7.8% to 7.9% is expected.
  4. MPC Meeting Minutes: Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT, together with employment figures. The last rate decision didn’t include any surprises – the interest rate and the Quantitative Easing program remained unchanged. Since Mervyn King didn’t rule out further money pumping  through the QE program, we’ll search for hints about this in the meeting minutes. In addition, hints for future policy will also be echoed in this release.
  5. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Published on Thursday at 9:30 GMT. The British government borrows lots of money from the public. Last month, a drop in borrowing was expected, but it didn’t happen. This hurt the Pound. Also Fitch and the central bank voiced concerns about the debt. Borrowing is expected to rise from 4.3 to 14.5 billion this time, weighing on the Pound.
  6. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Published on Thursday at 11:00 GMT. The Confederation of British Industry surveys 550 manufacturers and has shown a curb in pessimism. The score is expected to rise from -36 to -34, still in the negative zone, reflecting expectations for lower sales volume.
  7. Andrew Sentance talks: Starts talking on Thursday at 16:45 GMT, in a conference in London. Sentance is an external BOE MPC member. His past speeches had a significant impact on the Pound, and this will probably happen again.
  8. Paul Tucker talks: He starts speaking on Friday at 10:35 GMT in a conference in Brussels. As deputy governor, Tucker is an influential person that accompanies Mervyn King in parliament appearances. Speaking on Friday, Tucker will probably move the Pound.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

The Pound began the week with a small rise, reaching 1.52 before dipping down to 1.4870, a line that it dipped to last week as well. A slow recovery followed, and it touched 1.5220 before closing at 1.5202.

I’ve added the past week’s boundaries as new lines. They weren’t there last week. So, the current range is 1.4870 to 1.5220. The outer limits are stronger.

1.5350 is a strong resistance line. A break of this line two weeks ago signaled the Pound’s collapse. Looking down, 1.4780 is a strong line of support, serving as such in the collapse and also serving as such way back in the past.

Looking lower, 1.44 was a support line in May 2009, and is now the next significant support line after 1.4780.

Above, a break above 1.5350 will set 1.5833 as the next resistance line. There are many more above this line, but they are too far now.

I am bearish on GBP/USD.

The long term outlook continues to be negative. The British exit of recession is mostly due to a revision of Q3 data, and not real, convincing growth. The UK has yet to show economic strength before the Pound rises.

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About Author

Yohay Elam – Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I’ve accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I’ve earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I’ve worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.

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