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Public appearances by many senior officials and the second release of GDP are the highlights of British events this week. Here’s an outlook for British events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD, now in lower ground.

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

GBP USD forecast November 22-26

The pound enjoyed higher inflation and an unexpected improvement in unemployment in a very busy week, but was hurt by the Irish crisis, which takes its toll also on its neighbor. More action is due this week. Let’s start:

  1. BBA Mortgage Approvals: Tuesday, 8:30. The British Bankers’ Association has shown a slide in mortgage approvals in recent months, down to 31.1K last month. As the BBA represents around two thirds of British mortgages, this figure always moves the pound. A similar figure is due now.
  2. Adam Posen talks: Tuesday, 14:30. Posen stands out in the Monetary Policy Committee by suggesting an additional pound printing program of 50 billion pounds to boost the economy. Will he change his mind now that inflation is higher? He always rocks the pound.
  3. GDP: Wednesday, 8:30. This is the second release of Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter. The initial report was excellent – a growth rate of 0.8%, double the early expectations. It then gave a big boost to the pound. This figure will probably be confirmed now.
  4. Business Investment: Wednesday, 8:30. This quarterly figure has been quite volatile in the past year – posting big falls and gains as well as significant revisions. After a corrected rise of 0.7% in Q2, a similar 0.6% rise is expected now, in the preliminary release.
  5. Andrew Sentance talks: Wednesday, 12:20. On the other side from Posen, Sentance warns of the dangers of inflation and votes for a 0.25% rate hike for many months. He’s expected to repeat the same stance this time, boosting the pound, especially after inflation is still above target.
  6. CBI Realized Sales: Thursday, 11:00. The Confederation of British Industry disappointed last month with an unexpected drop in the level of sales volume – 36 points. A small rise to 37 is expected this time.
  7. Inflation Report Hearings: Thursday. The head of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, will appear in the British parliament and testify about inflation, employment and future monetary policy. These hearings take many hours and provide high volatility for the pound for quite a few hours.

* All times are GMT.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

The pound’s volatile began with a sharp fall to the 1.5850 line (mentioned last week) and later continued with a gradual recovery, bouncing off the 1.6107 line before another drop to close at 1.5977.

1.60, a round, psychological barrier, now provides immediate resistance to GBP/USD. Above, 1.6107 worked as strong resistance in the past week and was also a high point in October.

Above, 1.6280 was a support line at the beginning of the year and recently capped the pair after QE2. Above, 1.6450 was a peak in January and is now the next resistance line.

Even higher, the next significant resistance is at 1.6712 that capped the pair twice at the end of 2009. The last point is 1.7040, 2009″²s high.

Looking down, immediate yet weak support appears at 1.5923, and this is followed by 1.5850 which provided support in the past week and also beforehand.

The next minor cushion is 1.5750. Stronger support is found at 1.5650 which was a stubborn support line a few weeks ago.

Below, 1.5530 capped the pair in April and worked as resistance not so long ago.  It’s followed by 1.5230 – a stubborn resistance line back in July. The last line for now is 1.5120, that first served as resistance in June and then worked as support in July.

I remain neutral on GBP/USD.

The drop in unemployment and the rising chance of a rate hike are a good sign, yet the Irish problems and the internal austerity measures continue weighing on the pound.

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