British Pound / U.S. Dollar: Calm As Markets Eye U.S. Job Data

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 |  Includes: FXB, UDN, UUP
by: Dean Popplewell

By Kenny Fisher

GBP/USD is showing little movement on Monday, as the pair trades in the high-1.67 range in the North American session. On the release front, the CB Leading Index showed little change, which gained 0.6%. Later in the day, we'll get a look at the BRC Retail Sales Monitor. In the US, it's a very quiet start to the week. Today's sole event is a speech from Federal Reserve Governor Stanley Fischer, who spoke at a conference in Stockholm.

As expected, there were no monetary moves by the BOE late last week, as the central bank left untouched the QE and interest rate levels. QE remains at 375 billion pounds, while the benchmark interest rate stays at 0.50%. On Wednesday, UK Manufacturing Production posted a 0.3% gain. However, the markets had expected more, with an estimate of 0.7%. NIESR GDP Estimate gained just 0.6%, its lowest gain since June 2013. This monthly indicator helps analysts track official GDP, which is released every quarter. Softer readings such as Manufacturing Production and NIESR GDP Estimate have raised concerns that the British economy may be slowing down, and as a result, speculation about a rate hike has faded somewhat.

US releases enjoyed a solid week, led by the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI and Unemployment Claims. The PMI, which measures the strength of the services sector, climbed to 58.6 points, a 10-month high. Unemployment Claims dropped to 289,000, beating the estimate of 305,000. The four-week claims average, which is less volatile than the weekly count, dipped to 293,500, its lowest level since February 2006. The improving labor market points to a growing economy, and the dollar has gained broad strength thanks to solid economic data.

GBP/USD for Monday, August 11, 2014

GBP/USD August 11 at 16:35 GMT

GBP/USD 1.6785 H: 1.6795 L: 1.6770

GBP/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.6484 1.6565 1.6700 1.6825 1.6920 1.7000
Click to enlarge
  • GBP/USD has shown little activity during the day. The pair touched a high of 1.6795 early in the North American session.
  • The round number of 1.67 is providing strong support.
  • 1.6825 is an immediate resistance line. 1.6920 is stronger.
  • Current range: 1.6700 to 1.6825.

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.6700, 1.6556, 1.6484 and 1.6426
  • Above: 1.6825, 1.6920, 1.7000 and 1.7183

OANDA's Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD is pointing to gains in long positions in Monday trade. This is consistent with the movement of the pair, as the pound has posted small gains. The ratio has a small majority of long positions, indicative of slight trader bias toward the pound moving higher.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

  • 9:00 British CB Leading Index. Estimate 0.6%.
  • 23:01 British BRC Retail Sales Monitor.

* Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT