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GBP/USD  traded in a narrow  range last week, as the pair closed the week virtually unchanged, at 1.5880. The upcoming week has  just five  events. Highlights include the Monetary Policy Committee Meeting Minutes and Public Sector Net Borrowing. Here is an outlook of the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

The UK posted some weak data last week, as  unemployment and retail sales numbers were disappointing. However,  US  data also looked sluggish, and GBP/USD was unchanged over the week.

Updates: Rightmove HPI plunged 2.6%, as the UK housing sector remains sluggish. Two key releases will be published on Wednesday – MPC Meeting Minutes and Public Sector Net Borrowing.   GBP/USD has edged higher, as the pair was trading at 1.5932.  The MPC  Meeting Minutes indicated that the vote to maintain interest rates at 0.50% was unanimous. However, the  decision to keep QE at 375 billion pounds passed by a margin of 8-1, with one member voicing  support for an 25B increase in QE.  Public Sector Net Borrowing decreased in October, but was still higher than the forecast. The indicator posted a  deficit of  6.5 billion pounds, well above the estimate of 4.1B. External BOE MPC Member Martin Weale spoke at an economic seminar in Manchester. CBI Industrial Order Expectations remained deep in negative territory, posting a reading of -21 points. The estimate stood at -19 points. BBA Mortgage Approvals will be released on Friday. The pound is choppy, as GBP/USD was trading at 1.5956.

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

  1. Rightmove HPI: Monday, 00:01. This indicator  is  the earliest report on  inflation in the UK housing sector.  The index jumped by 3.5% last month, its highest level since February. Another strong reading will be an indication of more activity in the housing sector.
  2. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 9:30. Analysts will be looking at the voting breakdown by MPC members for the most recent interest rate and QE votes. A result that is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
  3. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Wednesday, 9:30.    The indicator posted a smaller budget deficit than forecast, at 10.7 billion pounds. The markets are predicting a much smaller deficit in the November reading, with a forecast of 4.1B.
  4. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Thursday, 11:00. This manufacturing index  plunged to -23  points in October, its lowest reading of the year. The markets are expecting a slight improvement,  with a reading still in deep  negative territory.    
  5. BBA Mortgage Approvals: Friday, 9:30. Mortgage Approvals have been showing slow but steady improvement in recent readings. The October release came in at 31.2 thousand, and the markets are predicting another slight improvement in the upcoming release.

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5892, and touched a high of 1.5916, as the resistance line of 1.5930 (discussed last week) held firm.  The pair then dropped to a low of 1.5836.  The pair  closed the week at 1.5880.

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 1.6343. This line was last breached when the pound dropped sharply in August 2011. We next encounter resistance at 1.6247. Below, is the line of 1.6122, which saw a lot of action in October. Next, there is resistance at 1.6060. This line has strengthened as the pair trades at lower levels. This is followed by 1.5992, which was providing the pair with weak support, until the pound sagged at the end of last week. Next, there is resistance at 1.5930. This line held firm as the pound move slightly higher before retracing.

GBP/USD is receiving weak support at 1.5850.This is followed by stronger support at 1.5750. This line has held firm since August. Below, there is support at 1.5648.  We next encounter resistance at    the round figure of 1.5600.

Next, there is support at 1.5530. This line was last breached in August, when the pound started its impressive summer rally. This is followed by 1.5414, which was last breached in July. The final resistance line for now is at 1.5271, which has held firm since January.

I am  bearish on GBP/USD.

The pound has now lost about four cents since mid-September. After a quiet week, will the  downward spiral continue?   US data was unexpectedly weak, and the recent  flareup between  Israel and Gaza  could unnerve the  markets and push investors to the safety of the greenback.

Further reading: