GBP/USD was almost unchanged last week, as the pair closed the week at 1.6161. This week’s highlight is Manufacturing PMI. Here is an outlook of the events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
US employment and manufacturing numbers disappointed last week, but the dollar held its ground against the pound.Updates:
- CBI Realized Sales: Monday, 11:00. This index is based on a survey of retailers and wholesalers and is a leading indicator of consumer spending. The indicator has risen impressively in recent months, and hit 34 points in August, its highest level since May 2012. The markets are expecting little change in the September release, with a forecast of 33 points.
- BOE Chief Economist Spencer Dale Speaks: Tuesday, 13:20. Dale will speak at an event in London. Analysts will be looking for hints as to the BOE’s future monetary policy. A speech which is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the pound.
- Net Lending to Individuals: Tuesday, 9:30. This indicator is closely related to consumer spending, since increased individual borrowing means that consumer spending is increasing, which is crucial for economic growth. Net Lending rose in August to 1.6 billion pounds, matching the forecast. The markets are expecting a surge in September, with an estimate of 2.5 billion pounds. Will the indicator meet or beat this rosy prediction?
- GfK Consumer Confidence: Thursday, 00:05. Consumer Confidence has been mired in negative territory, but has been showing steady improvement. The indicator rose to -10 points in August, its highest level since 2007. The upward trend is expected to continue, with the September estimate standing at -8 points.
- Nationwide HPI: Thursday, 7:00. This house price index provides a snapshot of activity in the UK housing industry. The index rose to 0.9% in August, easily beating the estimate of 0.5%. The forecast for September stands at 0.7%.
- Manufacturing PMI: Friday, 9:30. Manufacturing PMI is the major event of the week. The index continues to post readings above the 50-point level, indicating ongoing expansion in the UK manufacturing sector. The September release was down slightly, coming in at 56.7 points. This was shy of the estimate of 57.5 points. The forecast for October calls for more of the same, with an estimate of 56.5 points.
Live chart of GBP/USD:
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
GBP/USD opened the week at 1.6170. The pair dropped to a low of 1.6115, but then reversed direction and pushed past the 1.62 line, touching a high of 1.6256, as it broke through resistance at 1.6247 (discussed last week). The pound couldn’t hold onto these gains, and closed the week at 1.6161, almost identical to where the pair closed the week before.
Technical lines from top to bottom
We start with resistance at the round number of 1.6600. This key line has been tested only once since May 2011.
Next is resistance at 1.6475, which has held firm since August 2011.
This is followed by 1.6343. This line was last breached when the pound dropped sharply in August 2011.
We next encounter resistance at 1.6247. This was a key resistance line in October and November 2012 and was briefly breached by GBP/USD before the pair retracted.
1.6125 was breached early in the week, but remains in place as a support level. It is a weak line and could see action early in the week.
1.60, a key psychological barrier continues to provide support. It has some breathing room as the pair trades at higher levels. 1.5893 is the next support level.
1.5752 was breached in mid-September by the surging pound but has provided strong support since then.
1.5648 was an important resistance line since June, but has been providing support role since early September.
1.5550 is the final support level for now. This line last saw action in mid-June.
I am bearish on GBP/USD.
The pound continues to trade at high levels, as the UK economy is showing improvement. However, the British currency couldn’t take advantage of weak US numbers last week and its impressive rally over the past two months may have run out of steam. If the US bounces back with stronger releases this week, the dollar could move higher.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the USD outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD to USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar forecast.