GBP/USD – Pound Inches Higher in Quiet Trade

GBP/USD is showing little movement in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.2530. On the release front, British HPI declined 0.9%, well off the forecast of +0.2%. In the US, there are no major events on the schedule. Crude Oil Inventories posted a huge gain of 13.8 million barrels, crushing the estimate of 2.7 million. On Thursday, the US releases the weekly unemployment claims report, which is expected to rise to 249 thousand.

Which way are interest rates headed in Britain? Last week, the Bank of England held rates at 0.25% last week and the pound lost ground after BoE Governor Mark Carney said that interest rates could move in either direction. However, it’s possible that not all members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) see eye-to-eye with the Governor. Kristin Forbes, an external member of the committee, said on Tuesday that the BoE should raise rates if the economy remains strong and inflation continues to move higher. Forbes added that the bank should not put monetary policy on hold as a response to uncertainty over the Brexit process. For his part, Carney is hesitant to raise rates, despite respectable economic numbers, warning that the economy faces troubled waters as Britain maneuvers its way out of the European Union.

President Donald Trump continues to create controversies on an almost daily basis, and his brash and undiplomatic style has not endeared him to the markets. Moreover, the lack of an economic policy from the new administration is a major source of concern and the the post-election euphoria which sent the markets higher has dissipated. The Federal Reserve, which had trumpeted that it was planning a series of hikes in 2017, was more cautious in its recent rate statement and is expected to adopt a wait-and-see attitude in the coming months. If the economy continues to grow, there is a strong likelihood of another rate hike in the first half of 2017, which is bullish for the dollar.

MPs Reject First Amendments to Brexit Terms

BoE Deputy Governor Says UK Investment Weak in Near Term

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 8)

  • 3:30 British Halifax HPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual -0.9%
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 2.7M. Actual 13.8M
  • 13:01 US 10-y Bond Auction

Thursday (February 9)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 249K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Wednesday, February 8, 2017

GBP/USD February 8 at 11:20 EST

Open: 1.2495 High: 1.2550 Low: 1.2472 Close: 1.2527

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2272 1.2351 1.2471 1.2579 1.2674 1.2775
  • GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session. The pair has posted small gains in the European and North American sessions
  • 1.2471 is providing support
  • 1.2579 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2471, 1.2351, 1.2272 and 1.2143
  • Above: 1.2579, 1.2674 and 1.2775
  • Current range: 1.2471 to 1.2579

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is unchanged in the Wednesday session. Currently, long positions command a majority (60%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD continuing to move upwards.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.