GBP/USD Outlook – March 22-26

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The Pound fell in the past volatile week. The upcoming week contains inflation figures and the budget release among other indicators. Here’s an outlook for the British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

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

GBP/USD forecast

Britain enjoyed a significantly smaller number of unemployed people. At first it seemed that this surprising figure will send the Pound beyond 1.5350, but these hopes were shattered and the Pound fell sharply. Let’s start the review. The technical analysis will follow:

  1. Mervyn King talks: Starts talking in London on Monday at 15:30. King has a tendency to hurt the Pound. He might relate to inflation (and dismiss it) or to the heavy government’s budget. The governor of the BOE could sure set the tone for the whole week.
  2. CPI: Published on Tuesday at 9:30 GMT. British prices have risen and went beyond the government’s target of 1-3%. Mervyn King, head of the BOE, was forced to write a letter explaining the situation and the measures he’ll take. He wasn’t impressed from this rise and expects to see prices fall back in line. After reaching an annual rate of 3.5%, prices are expected to fall back to 3.1%. If so, King’s confidence will be proven correct. Core CPI is also expected to edge down – from 3.1% to 3% and RPI (Retail Price Index) is expected to remain unchanged at 3.7%.
  3. BBA Mortgage Approvals: Published on Tuesday at 9:30 GMT and overshadowed by the inflation numbers. The British Bankers Association dominates about two third of Britain’s mortgages, and precedes the official release by the government. After a sharp and disappointing drop from 45.7K to 35.1K last month, another fall is predicted this time – to 34.3K.
  4. CBI Realized Sales: Published on Wednesday at 11:00 GMT.  This survey of both retailers and wholesalers showed higher sales volume last month, when the score surprised and reached 23 points. This exceeded the negative expectations and pushed the Pound higher. The score is expected to drop from 23 to 20 points this time.
  5. Annual Budget Release: Published on Wednesday at 12:30 GMT. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will probably bring a big budget to parliament. Less than two months before the general elections, the government will probably avoid cutting the big deficit. This will probably hurt the Pound. Darling already did it in the past. It’s also important to note the economic projections that accompany the budget release. They’ll also move the Pound.
  6. Retail Sales: Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT. In the past five months, this important economic indicator fell short of economists’ expectations. Last month was a big disappointment, with a fall of 1.8% in sales volume. A rise of 0.6% is predicted this time.
  7. Revised Business Investment: Published on Friday at 9:30 GMT. The revised version will probably be slightly better than the initial release – a drop of 5.6% rather than 5.8% in investment. The big picture remains bleak – 7 consecutive months of squeezes in investments.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

At the beginning of the week, GBP/USD tested the 1.5220 resistance line and bounced back down to 1.50. It later managed to break this line and test important 1.5350 line. It shortly traded above this line, but the gains didn’t hold and it fell to close just above 1.50.

The lines haven’t significantly changed since last week’s outlook. GBP/USD trades in a range between 1.50, a round psychological number and 1.5220, which is a minor resistance line.

Looking up, 1.5350 remains a major line of resistance, providing support for the pair last year and also one month ago. It was successfully tested now as well.

Above, 1.5520 provides a minor resistance line, working as both support and resistance recently. Even higher, 1.5833 provides a strong line of resistance after being a strong support line before the collapse.

Looking down, 1.4870 is the next line of support under 1.50. This line was a bottom for the Pound recently. The stronger support line appears at 1.4780 – a line that was of importance last year, and also now provided support for the Pound after it collapsed.

A break of 1.4780 will lead the Pound to test 1.44, a support line that was successfully tested in May 2009.

I am bearish on GBP/USD.

After really good employment numbers weren’t enough for GBP/USD to break higher, this week’s budget deficit will probably weigh heavily on the Pound.

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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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