GBP/USD – Pound Dips as US Consumer Confidence Soars

GBP/USD has edged lower in Tuesday’s North American session. Currently , GBP/USD is trading at 1.2530. On the release front, it’s another quiet day, with no UK events on the schedule. In the US, CB Consumer Confidence rocketed to 125.5, crushing the estimate of 113.9. There was also good news on the manufacturing front, as the Richmond Manufacturing Index improved to 22, well above the forecast of 16 points.

The dollar is showing some strength in North American trading, courtesy of a spectacular reading from CB Consumer Confidence. The key indicator surprised the markets by climbing to 125.5, its highest level since December 2000. Clearly, consumers remain optimistic about the economy, and a major factor in this sentiment is the red-hot labor market, which remains close to capacity. An increase in consumer confidence often translates into stronger consumer spending, which would be bullish for the US dollar which has headed lower since the Federal Reserve rate hike on March 15. We’ll get a look at consumer spending data on Friday, with the release of Personal Spending.

Donald Trump suffered his first major setback as president last week, as his bill to replace the Affordable Care Act was pulled before it even went to a vote. Trump is used to giving the orders in the private sector and on reality TV, but he didn’t get his way on healthcare, despite the Republicans enjoying a majority in Congress. This bruising defeat has sent the US dollar sharply lower, and sent market jitters higher. Trump’s administration has stumbled out of the starting gate, and after more than two months in office, he has yet to provide any details or even an outline of economic policy. The inquiry into the Trump administration’s links with Russia is gathering steam, and is another cause for concern for nervous investors. Trump has said he will now focus on tax reform, but he has his work cut out, trying to convince a skeptical Congress and general public that he can deliver the goods and pass new, effective legislation.

Britain departure from the European Union will move into second gear on Thursday, as the government formally gives notice to its EU colleagues of its intent to withdraw from the club. However, actual negotiations between the parties may not commence until June, according to recent statements from EU policymakers. The negotiations are supposed to be conducted over a two-year period, and promise to be tough and perhaps acrimonious. The EU cannot afford to “go easy” on the UK and give it a sweet deal, since this would provide ammunition to euro-skeptics on the continent who also want to quit the EU. For its part, the British government needs to reach what it considers a fair deal, and has threatened to leave the EU without a deal if the EU is intransigent in the negotiations.

Week Ahead Trump Administration Fails with Healthcare Bill

Trumps Road to 100 Days of Inaction Rattles Markets

GBP/USD Fundamentals

  • 8:30 US Goods Trade Balance. Estimate -66.6B. Actual -64.8B
  • 8:30 US Preliminary Wholesale Inventories. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.4%
  • 9:00 US S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI. Estimate 5.7%. Actual 5.7%
  • 9:59 US Richmond Manufacturing Index. Estimate 16. Actual 22
  • 10:00 US CB Consumer Confidence. Estimate 113.9. Acutal 125.6
  • 13:00 US FOMC Member Robert Kaplan Speech

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Tuesday, March 28, 2017

GBP/USD March 28 at 10:35 EST

Open: 1.2557 High: 1.2596 Low: 1.2526 Close: 1.2535

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2272 1.2351 1.2471 1.2571 1.2706 1.2865
  • GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session. In the European session, the pair posted gains but then retracted. GBP/USD is unchanged in North American trade
  • 1.2471 is providing support
  • 1.2571 continues to provide weak resistance. It was tested earlier in the day

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2471, 1.2351 and 1.2272
  • Above: 1.2571, 1.2706 and 1.2865
  • Current range: 1.2571 to 1.2706

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is unchanged this week. Currently, long and short positions are evenly split. This is indicative of a lack of trader bias as to which direction the pair will take next.

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.