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GBP/USD  weakened as it dropped below the 1.60 line this week, but recovered to close  at 1.6062. This week has  eight events, including several key releases. Here is an outlook of the upcoming events, and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

UK numbers did not impress last week, as Trade Balance and Manufacturing Production were sluggish and fell below the market estimate.

Updates: CPI came in at 2.2%, matching the market forecast. PPI Input declined 0.2%, its first  negative reading  since July. RPI  dropped to 2.6%,  as expected.  Core CPI also matched the market estimate, posting a a gain of 2.1%. HPI gained 1.8%, a notch below the estimate of 1.9%. PPI Output hit a four-month high, rising 0.5%. The pound has crossed 1.61, and continues to improve. GBP/USD was trading at 1.6121. There was very good employment numbers out of the UK on Thursday. Claimant Count Change looked sharp, as the unemployment rolls dropped by 4.0 thousand. The estimate called for a much smaller decline of 0.2K. The Unemployment Rate dropped to 7.9%, its lowest level since September 2011. The MPC Meeting Minutes contained no surprises, as the vote  to maintain the  Bank Rate at  0.50% and QE at 375 billion pounds were  unanimous at 9-0.  Average Earnings Index rose 1.7%, just above the estimate of 1.6%. MPC Member Paul Tucker is scheduled to address a banking conference in London. Retail Sales rose 0.6%, beating the 0.4% estimate and hitting a four-month high. The pound is choppy, as GBP/USD was trading at 1.6145.

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

  1. Rightmove HPI: Sunday, 23:01. The housing indicator has posted three straight declines. The markets will be hoping for a gain in the October release.
  2. CPI: Tuesday, 8:30. This important inflation index has been in the 2.5% range since July. The estimate for this month’s reading is slightly lower, at 2.2%.
  3. PPI Input: Tuesday, 8:30. PPI posted a strong gain of 2.2% in August. The markets are expecting a flat 0.0% for the September numbers.
  4. RPI: Tuesday, 8:30. This inflation index dropped to 2.9% in the previous reading, and the markets are expecting another drop this month, to 2.6%.
  5. Claimant Count Change: Wednesday, 8:30. This key employment indicator had its worst performance of 2012 in the September reading, but the markets are expecting a much-improved release this month. The Unemployment Rate will be released at the same time.
  6. MPC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 8:30. Analysts will carefully comb through the MPC minutes, which contain the breakdown of member’s votes on the latest interest rate and QE decisions.
  7. Retail Sales: Thursday, 8:30. Retail Sales declined slightly in August, disappointing the markets. The forecast for the September figures calls for a strong rebound, with an estimate of 0.5%.
  8. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Friday, 8:30. Last month’s reading was better than forecast, and the markets are expecting the deficit to narrow in the upcoming release to 11.8 billion pounds.

*All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical Analysis

GBP/USD opened the week at 1.6136, which was also the high of the week.  The pair  dropped as low of 1.5975. GBP/USD  the rebounded, closing the week at 1.6062, as the support line of 1.6060 (discussed last week) held firm at the end of the trading week.

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We begin with resistance at 1.6738 ,which has held firm since May 2011. The next line of resistance is at the round number of 1.66. Next, there is resistance at 1.6475.  This is followed by the 1.6343 line, which was last breached  when the pound took a dive, back in August of last year.  We next encounter resistance at  1.6247. Next is the line of 1.6122, which was providing weak support  at the  start of the week and was breached as the pair lost ground.

GBP/USD is receiving weak support at 1.6060,  a notch below where the pair ended the  trading week. Look for this  line to see more action this week. Below, there is support at 1.5992. This line has held firm since early September. Next is the line at 1.5930. This is followed by support at  1.5805.   This line has remained in place since early September, when the pound started an impressive rally. Next, is 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, which has held firm since early August.

I am  bearish on GBP/USD.

After a super September,  the pound has lost ground in October,  and briefly dropped below the critical 1.60 line this past week.  The UK economy continues to struggle, so we could see the dollar make inroads against the pound.

Further reading: