GBP/USD – Pound Slips to 8-Week Low on Concern over Brexit Launch

GBP/USD has posted losses in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.2130. On the release front, US PPI dipped to 0.3%, above the estimate of 0.1%. Later in the day, UK releases the CB Leading Index. On Wednesday, traders should be prepared for volatility, with a host of key indicators on both sides of the pond. The UK will release three employment indicators – Average Earnings Index, Claimant Count Change and the unemployment rate. The US will publish CPI and retail sales reports. As well, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise the benchmark rate to 0.75 percent.

The political machinations over Brexit have continued this week. On Monday, the House of Lords backed down and voted through the Brexit bill without making any changes. This move means the bill will be passed into law, allowing Theresa May’s government to trigger Article 50 and formally declare Britain’s intent to leave the European Union. There had been speculation that May might invoke Article 50 on Tuesday, but the government said it will not do so until later in March. Under Article 50, the negotiations are slated to take up to two years. Relations between Britain and the EU have nosedived since the stunning Brexit vote in June. The timing of invoking Article 50 comes at a particularly delicate time for Europe, as the Netherlands holds elections on Wednesday and France goes to the polls in April.

Sterling to Suffer with Two Divorces

How Will UK Market Respond After May Triggers Article 50?

Strong US employment numbers in February have cemented a rate hike by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Nonfarm payrolls sparkled in February, as the indicator jumped to 235 thousand, easily beating the estimate of 196 thousand. Wage growth climbed 2.6% compared to February 2016, while the participation rate edged up to 63.0%, up from 62.9%. These numbers make it a virtual certainty that the Fed will raise rates by a quarter-point on Wednesday. Although a rate hike has been priced in by the markets at 93%, there have been disappointments in the past, so a rate move will likely give the dollar a boost against its major rivals. The solid job numbers also give President Trump a much-needed boost. Trump is under pressure to present an economic agenda, but the markets won’t mind giving him some additional breathing room, with the economy performing so well.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (March 14)

  • 6:33 British 10-y Bond Auction. Actual 1.31%
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.3%
  • 8:30 US Core PPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.3%
  • 9:30 British CB Leading Index

Upcoming Key Events

Wednesday, March 15

  • 5:30 British Average Earnings Index. Estimate 2.4%
  • 5:30 British Claimant Count Change. Estimate 3.2K
  • 5:30 British Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.8%
  • 8:30 US CPI. Estimate 0.0%
  • 8:30 US Core CPI. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.1%
  • 8:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate 0.2%
  • 14:00 US FOMC Economic Projections
  • 14:00 US FOMC Statement
  • 14:00 US Federal Funds Rate. Estimate <1.00%
  • 14:00 US FOMC Press Conference

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Tuesday, March 14, 2017

GBP/USD March 14 at 11:30 EST

Open: 1.2205 High: 1.2214 Low: 1.2106 Close: 1.2149

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.1943 1.2033 1.2143 1.2272 1.2351 1.2471
  • GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session and lost ground in European trade. The pair has inched higher in the North American session
  • 1.2143 was tested in support earlier and is under pressure
  • 1.2272 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2143, 1.2033 and 1.1943
  • Above: 1.2272, 1.2351, 1.2471 and 1.2579
  • Current range: 1.2143 to 1.2272

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is showing slight gains in long positions. Currently, long positions have a majority (68%). This is indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD reversing directions and moving 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.