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GBP/USD  was marked by a  quiet week of trading.  The pair  dropped slightly  at  week’s end, closing in the mid-1.61 range. The upcoming week is quite busy, with 10 events. Here is an outlook of the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

UK data was very close to the market forecasts. In the US, the numbers were mixed – housing figures were weak, but  employment  data was stronger than anticipated.

Updates: Manufacturing PMI dropped to 48.4 points. This was below the market forecast of 49.5. Nationwide HPI disappointed the markets, as the housing inflation index dropped 0.4%. The markets had predicted a 0.1% increase. Construction PMI came in at 49.5 points. The markets had forecast a slight rise to the important 50.0 level. GBP/USD is steady, as the pair was trading at 1.6148. The 10-year Bond Auction posted a yield of 1.76%, down slightly from the previous auction, which  had a  yield  1.83%. BRC Shop Price Index remained steady,  posting a 1.0% gain. Services PMI disappointed, coming in at 52.2 points. The market estimate stood at 53.1. Housing Equity Withdrawal posted its largest drop in almost five years. The housing indicator came in at -9,8 billion pounds, much weaker than the forecast of -8.6B. The pound has edged downwards, and is testing the 1.61 line. GBP/USD was trading at 1.6108. Halifax HPI posted its second straight decline. The housing  inflation index dropped 0.4%, surprising the markets, which had forecast a 0.2% gain. There were no surprises from the BOE, as QE remained at 375 billion pounds, and the Official Bank Rate remain pegged at 0.50%. The pound is moving upwards, as GBP/USD was trading at 1.6140.

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

  1. Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 8:30. This key index has been under the 50.0 level since May, indicating ongoing contraction in the manufacturing sector. No change is expected in the October reading.
  2. Net Lending to Individuals: Monday, 8:30. This indicator jumped to 0.9 billion pounds in the previous reading. The markets are expecting a decline to 0.7B in the October release.
  3. Nationwide HPI: Tuesday, 6:00. This housing inflation index surprised the markets with a strong 1.3% gain last month. The October estimate stands at a very modest gain of just 0.1%.
  4. Halifax  HPI: Tuesday, 2nd-5th. This housing inflation index took a tumble in September, falling by 0.4%. The markets are expecting an improvement  in  the October release, with an estimate of 0.2%.
  5. Construction PMI: Tuesday, 8:30. This key release dropped to 49.0 points last month, but the market estimate for October stands at   the important 50.0 points.
  6. 10-year Bond Auction: Tuesday, Tentative. The previous yield came in at 1.83, up slightly from the July yield of 1.72%. The markets are not expecting a significant change in the October auction.
  7. BRC Shop Price Index: Tuesday, 23:01. This consumer index has been around the 1% level for the past three  readings. Will the index continue to produce more of the same this month?
  8. Services PMI: Wednesday, 8:30. Service PMI had a strong reading last month, climbing to 53.7 points. A similar reading is expected for the October release.
  9. Asset Purchase Facility: Thursday, 11:00. QE is released monthly, and has been pegged at the 375 billion pounds level since July. The markets are not expecting any change in October.
  10. Official Bank Rate: Thursday, 11:00. The BOE has maintained a rate of 0.50% for over three years, and no change is anticipated.

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.6230. The pair was choppy during the week. On Friday, the pair showed more movement,  touching a low of 1.6212, as it briefly broke through 1.622 (discussed last week). GBP/USD then rebounded, climbing as  high as 1.6272. The pair closed the week at 1.6159.

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We  start with resistance at 1.6738. The next line of resistance is at the round number of 1.66. This line was last tested in August 2011. Next, there is resistance at 1.6475.   This is followed by the 1.6343 line. Next is 1.6247, which was again breached this week as the pair showed a brief surge late in the week, before retracting.

GBP/USD is receiving weak support at 1.6122. This line was breached at the end of the week as the pair showed some movement. This support line could see further action if the the pound shows further weakness. The next line of support is at 1.6060. Below, there is support at 1.5992. This line had provided resistance since May, before being breached in September.

Next, 1.5930 continues to provide support. The next support line is at 1.5805.   This is followed by 1.5750, which was last tested in late August. This is followed by support at 1.5648. The final support line for now is at the round figure of 1.5600.

I am  neutral on GBP/USD.

The pound has looked sharp, enjoying an impressive run against the greenback in August and September. Has the rally run out of steam? The UK economy is not looking particularly strong, although the pound has managed to move up despite largely unimpressive UK numbers. However, more signs of trouble in the US and continuing global weakness could  lead  investors to snap up the safe-haven  dollar at the expense of the pound.

Further reading: