GBP/USD posted modest losses during the week but was down less than a cent at the closing bell. The pair closed the week just shy of the 1.55 line, at 1.5491. This week’s market-movers includes PMIs and the Official Bank Rate. Here is an outlook of the events and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.
UK releases were uneventful, while the US had a mixed week. Solid GDP and employment numbers out of the US helped the dollar post modest gains against the pound.Updates:
- Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 8:30. PMI releases are considered market-movers, and we will see three PMI releases during the week. Manufacturing PMI kicks off the week. The index has shown steady improvement and has posted three straight readings above the 50- point level. The upward trend is expected to continue, with an estimate of 55.2 points.
- BRC Retail Sales Monitor: Monday, 23:01. This indicator measure retail sales at stores which are part of the British Retail Consortium. The August reading came in at 2.2%, its best showing since March. The markets will be hoping for another healthy gain in the September release.
- Construction PMI: Tuesday, 8:30. Construction PMI has looked sharp and jumped from 51.0 in July to 57.0 in August, boosting the British pound. The markets are expecting another strong gain, with an estimate of 58.4 points. Will the indicator meet or beat this rosy prediction?
- BRC Shop Price Index: Tuesday, 23:01. This indicator measures inflation at BRC shops. The indicator has posted three straight declines and came in at -0.5% last month. The markets will be hoping for a gain in the upcoming release.
- Halifax HPI: Wednesday, 4th-7th. This housing inflation index provides a snapshot of the health of the UK housing sector. The index has been rising and posted a solid gain of 0.9% last month, way above the estimate of 0.3%.
- Services PMI: Wednesday, 8:30. Services PMI is on the move and jumped to an outstanding 60.2 points last month. The markets are expecting another strong release, with an estimate of 59.8 points.
- BOE Asset Purchase Facility: Thursday, 11:00. In his first public appearance as BOE governor last week, Mark Carney stated that the BOE would not hesitate to raise stimulus if needed. However, no change is expected in the current level of 375 billion pounds, which has not changed since June 2012.
- BOE Official Bank Rate: Thursday, 11:00. The key interest rate has been pegged at 0.50% since early 2009 and no change is expected in the upcoming release.
- Manufacturing Production: Friday, 8:30. After posting to consecutive declines, the key indicator rebounded sharply, with a healthy 1.9% gain in August. The markets are expecting a smaller rise in the upcoming release, with an estimate of 0.4%. If the indicator fails to reach the estimate, we could see the pound lose ground.
- Consumer Inflation Expectations: Friday, 8:30. This indicator has been very steady, and has posted to straight readings of 3.6%. The markets are not expecting any substantial movement in the September release.
- Trade Balance: Friday, 8:30. Trade Balance has shown some improvement, with the deficits shrinking for the most part in recent months. The August release of -8.1 billion pounds was the smallest deficit since September 2012. The markets are expecting little change in the upcoming release, with an estimate of -8.2 billion pounds.
- NIESR GDP Estimate: Friday, 14:00. This indicator is released each month, and helps analysts track the all-important GDP indicator, which is released every quarter. The indicator has been posted solid gains recently, and came in at 0.7% in August.
Live chart of GBP/USD:
GBP/USD Technical Analysis
GBP/USD opened the week at 1.5579. The pair climbed to high of 1.5612 but then dropped sharply, falling to a low of 1.5482. GBP/USD closed the week at 1.5491, as support at 1.5484 (discussed last week) held firm.
Technical lines from top to bottom:
We start with resistance at the round number of 1.60, a key psychological barrier. This line was last tested in mid-January, when the pound went on a sharp slide that saw it fall below the 1.49 line.
1.5944 saw a lot of activity in November 2012 and this past January.
1.5832 was busy in late January and has remained in place as a resistance line since February. 1.5752 was last breached in June, marking the peak of a rally by the pound which started in May.
1.5648 saw a lot of activity in June and continues to provide resistance. This line was breached as the pair moved higher early in the week, but remained intact at the end of the week.
1.5550 saw action in mid-June, as GBP/USD pushed past this line and climbed as high as the mid-1.5750 range. It was breached for the second straight week, but remained intact at the end of the week.
1.5484 continues to provide support to GBP/USD. was last breached in June, as the pound went on a sharp skid that saw it drop below the 1.49 line. This line held firm this week as the pair lost ground and dripped below the 1.55 line.
1.5350 saw some action in the first week in August, when the pound started a rally that saw it climb above the 1.57 line.
1.5258 is the next line of support. 1.5196 saw action in mid-July and again in the first week of August.
1.5110 was busy in July but has had a quiet August as the pair continues to trade at higher levels.
1.5000 is the final support level for now. It is a critical support line, and has remained in place since early July.
I am bearish on GBP/USD.
The US Federal Reserve hasn’t given many clues as to when it might begin QE tapering, but speculation is increasing that the Fed could make a move in September. A well, market sentiment remains positive about the US economy, so the dollar could post further gains against the pound this week.
- 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.