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After the Pound was pounded by the British elections, a busy week expects traders: a rate decision, employment and inflation figures are among the events this week. Here’s an outlook for the events this week and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

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

British Pound forecast

Apart from the British elections, the British Pound also suffered from the European troubles. They began with the rumor that Spain would seek aid and turned into an avalanche. Now, the British events will take over:

  1. Rate decision: Published on Monday at 11:00 GMT. This decision was delayed due to the elections and provides a strong start to the week. There are talks that Mervyn King will step up his measures, now that the elections are behind us, as the nflation is rising. While the chance of raising the Official Bank Rate is very small, a different rate statement regarding future policy could boost the Pound, although this King wants a weak Pound
  2. BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Published on Monday at 23:00 GMT (midnight UK). This “mini retail sales” release, provided by the British Retail Consortium, gives a good picture towards the official figure that will be published later on. In the past two months, the volume of sales grew nicely, including a 4.4% leap last month. A smaller rise is predicted this time.
  3. Manufacturing Production: Published on Tuesday at 8:30 GMT. The  British  industry enjoyed a rise of 1.3% in its manufacturing production last month, double the expectations. Manufacturing is 80% of all the industrial production and overshadows it. Note that this figure is volatile, and the impact is quite strong. A rise of 0.3% is expected now.
  4. NIESR GDP Estimate: Published on Tuesday at 14:00 GMT. TheNational Institute of Economic and Social Research usually provides a good and up to date estimate of the economy’s performance. Last time, it was inline with economists expectations for a 0.4% rise in Q4, but the actual growth was weaker. The figure released now relates to the three months ending in April.
  5. Employment data: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT. Claimant Count Change represents the change in the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits. In the past two months, this number dropped significantly – over 32,000 people every month – this is excellent. A smaller drop is predicted this time. The unemployment rate jumped to 8% and it’s expected to improve this time. Also note the Average Earnings Index figure that rose by 2.3% last month – quite strong. A drop of 20,000 unemployed people is expected now.
  6. BOE Inflation Report: Begins on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT. Two days after the rate decision, Mervyn King has another opportunity to impact currency trading. This report doesn’t cover only inflation – it also contains updated economic forecasts and could hint about future rate policy. King will hold a press conference to accompany the release.
  7. Trade Balance: Published on Thursday at 8:30 GMT. The British trade deficit squeezed last month to 6.2 billion, better than expected. This helped the Pound at that time, and will probably help it this time as well, if the deficit is below 6 billion, but expectations stand on 6.5 billion.
  8. CB Leading Index: Published on Friday at 9:00 GMT. This index is composed of 7 economic indicators – most of them already released. Nevertheless, this figure from the Conference Board tends to move the Pound. In the past few months, this index made steady rises. A small rise is predicted this time.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

The Pound began the week with some range trading between 1.5120 and 1.5350. After conceding the 1.5120 line, GBP/USD dropped quickly below the previous 2010 low of 1.4780 and bottomed out at 1.4477 before closing at 1.4798.

This exciting week forced adding lower support lines on top of last week’s outlook. After closing above 1.4780, the Pound’s range is between 1.4780 (a strong support line) and 1.4975 (a minor resistance line).

Looking up, the serious line above is 1.5120. This worked as a strong support line and now works as resistance. Higher, 1.5350 is less strong than it used to be. The line above is 1.5520, but that’s far now.

Below, 1.4400 is a line we spoke about before, and was tested with the collapse in the past week. This serves as a strong resistance line. Under this line, 1.4130, which was a low point in March 2009 is another line of support.

Even lower, 1.3850, 1.3670 and 1.35 are below, but these lines are too far. At least now…

I am bearish on GBP/USD.

The hung parliament and the European troubles are stronger than the improving British economy, especially the employment data which will be updated the week. The Pound will probably continue suffering until these issues are resolved.

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