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Sterling ended the week by gaining momentum against the US Dollar with the aid of positive domestic fundamental data in the form of the Nationwide House Price Index, indicating 0.6% growth and cementing the view that a sustainable economic recovery may be around the corner.

With no other discernible data released on Friday, Sterling’s fate rested on events in the US and EU alongside Mark Carney’s speech. Carney was meant to shore up his flagship forward guidance, but the speech ended up a non-event, with the only headlines regarding potential Sterling risks with an independent Scotland.

Carney compared the risks of a currency union to the EU, with sovereign debt crises, financial fragmentation and large divergences in economic performance. Influential data from the UK to watch out for today is released at 9.30am and includes Manufacturing PMI and Net Lending to Individuals m/m. Any progression in the Ukrainian crisis will also swing risk appetite this week and have a strong bearing on USD, EUR and GBP.

In Europe, EUR was firmly on the back foot for the most part of last week ahead of the influential ECB monetary policy meeting this week. The single currency managed to sharply reverse its fortunes by the end of the week following a positive inflation report. Towards the end of the week fears were fading that the ECB would take action to ease policy at the upcoming meeting. The positive sentiment is stemming from Draghi’s comments regarding gradual and uneven economic recovery, but maintains that deflationary pressures are not a dilemma in his grand scheme. Friday’s inflation report revealed that consumer prices are rising with a stable pace, meaning the aforementioned deflationary fears are no longer adding to investor anxiety. Today eyes will be focused towards Spanish Manufacturing PMI (8.15am), Italian Manufacturing PMI (8.45am). But the main event will be Mario Draghi testifying before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament.

Stateside, the fortunes of the US Dollar last week mostly hinged on Friday’s GDP reading, which came in below best analyst consensus at 2.4% versus 3.2% previously and 2.6% expected. The greenback did manage to claw back some losses and offset the disappointing GDP figure following positive Michigan and Chicago PMI figures, although GBP/USD proved resilient and rose from 1.6687 to the close of 1.6743.

GBP/USD support levels are currently in play at 1.6538, 1.6559, 1.6583, 1.6607 and 1.6684 while resistances are 1.6728 and 1.6741. A break above 1.6820 will open the door for a test of 1.70.

Discernible US data today includes Core PCE Price Index m/m and Personal Spending m/m (1.30pm), followed by the all-important ISM Manufacturing PMI at 3.00pm, which is a leading indicator of economic health.

Report courtesy of FC Exchange