GBP/USD – Pound Subdued in Holiday-Thinned Trade

GBP/USD is showing little movement at the start of the week. In Monday’s North American session, the pair is trading at 1.2920. On the release front, British banks are closed for the May 1 holiday. In the US, ISM Manufacturing PMI dropped to 54.8, short of the estimate of 56.6 points. This marked a 4-month low. US Personal Spending dipped to 0.0%, shy of the forecast of 0.2%. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will deliver remarks at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, the UK kicks off this week’s PMIs releases with Manufacturing PMI, with an estimate of 54.0 points.

The British economy has weathered the Brexit storm better than expected, but market concerns are again rising ahead of the start of negotiations between Britain and the European Union. The EU has toughened its stance in recent weeks, and on Monday, the German media reported that a meeting last week between May and Jean Claude Juncker, president of the EU, had gone very badly. Although 10 Downing Street claims the talks were ‘constructive’, the EU attacked May on Monday, bluntly stating that it was “more likely than not” that the Brexit talks would fail in light of the May-Juncker fiasco. If the two sides remain at loggerheads, market jitters could send the pound downwards.

The US economy appears to have hit some turbulence, as underscored by a disappointing Advance GDP for the first quarter. The economy expanded at just 0.7%, well below the forecast of 1.3%. Consumer indicators have also been softer than expected. On Friday, Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment came in at 97.0, short of the estimate of 98.1 points. This echoed the CB Consumer Confidence report earlier in the week, which also missed expectations. Consumer spending is also raising concerns, and Personal Spending dipped to 0.0% in March, the first time the indicator hasn’t posted a gain since July 2016. Key employment data, highlighted by Nonfarm Payrolls, will be released on Friday. If these indicators miss expectations, the US dollar could suffer broad losses.

The lights will stay on in Washington after all. Following a week of intense negotiations on Capitol Hill, Lawmakers reached an agreement which averts a partial government shutdown. The short-term spending deal, which has bipartisan support, provides funding for government services until September 30th. The deal does not include any funding for a border wall with Mexico, marking a clear concession on the part of President Trump. Still, after a rocky 100 days in office, Trump could ill afford the embarrassment of the federal government running out of funds so early on his watch.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Monday (May 1)

  • 8:30 US Core PCE Price Index. Estimate -0.1%. Actual -0.1%
  • 8:30 US Personal Spending. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.0%
  • 8:30 US Personal Income. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.2%
  • 9:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 52.8. Actual 52.8
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 56.6. Actual 54.8
  • 10:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.5%. Actual -0.2%
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 66.5. Actual 68.5
  • 10:45 US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Speech
  • Tentative – US Loan Officer Survey

Tuesday (May 2)

  • 4:30 British Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 54.0

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Monday, May 1, 2017

GBP/USD May 1 at 11:45 EST

Open: 1.2931 High: 1.2936 Low: 1.2898 Close: 1.2920

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2571 1.2706 1.2865 1.2946 1.3058 1.3121
  • GBP/USD posted slight losses in the Asian session but recovered in European trade. The pair his been choppy in the North American session
  • 1.2865 is providing support
  • 1.2946 is a weak resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2865, 1.2706, 1.2571 and 1.2471
  • Above: 1.2946, 1.3058 and 1.3121
  • Current range: 1.2865 to 1.2946

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

In the Monday session, GBP/USD ratio is showing short positions with a majority (60%). This is indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD breaking out and moving lower.

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.