GBP/USD Ticks Lower, UK Construction PMI Dips

GBP/USD has recorded small losses in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.2930. On the release front, British Construction PMI, softened in June, with a reading of 54.8. This was slightly below the estimate of 55.0. Later in the day, the UK releases the BRC Shop Price Index. In the US, there are no events, as US markets are off for Independence Day. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will publish the minutes of its June policy meeting.

The European forum of central bankers usually plays second fiddle to the Fed’s Jackson Hole meeting, but this year’s European forum won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Last week’s meeting in Portugal triggered sharp rises from the euro and British pound, following hawkish remarks from Mario Draghi and Mark Carney. The pound jumped 2.4%, last week, boosted by hawkish comments from BoE Governor Mark Carney. Carney said that the BoE would have to consider removing monetary stimulus, and the markets jumped on his comments as a possible sign that he was not adamantly opposed to rate hikes in the near future. BoE policymakers have waged a public debate about rate policy, with Carney stating in mid-June that he was opposed to hikes, only to be contradicted by MPC member Ande Haldane, who said he had been close to voting in favor of a rate hike at the June rate meeting. The vote at the meeting was 5-3 in favor of maintaining rates, surprising the markets, which had predicted a 7-1 vote to keep rates at current levels. Although there are renewed fears that Brexit will take a toll on the British economy, inflation is running close to 3%, well above the BoE’s target of 2 percent. A rate increase would help lower inflation, but Carney, who has voiced concerns about Brexit’s negative ramifications since the vote last June, had been solidly against a rate increase.

The Federal Reserve has sent out the message that it plans to raise interest rates one more time in 2017, but the markets are becoming more skeptical. The odds of a rate hike in December have fallen to 47%, down from 53% last week, according to the CME Group. With the US economy giving a mediocre performance in the first quarter, and inflation levels remains low, there are Fed policymakers who are currently lukewarm to the idea of raising rates again this year. Key economic indicators have not looked particularly sharp in the second quarter, notably housing and consumer spending numbers. If inflation numbers do not improve and GDP reports for Q2 remain soft, the odds of a December hike will drop even further, which could translate into broad losses for the US dollar.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (July 4)

  • 4:30 British Construction PMI. Estimate 55.0. Actual 54.8
  • 19:01 British BRC Shop Price Index

Wednesday (July 5)

  • 4:30 British Services PMI. Estimate 53.6
  • 14:00 FOMC Meeting Minutes

*All release times are EDT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Tuesday, July 4, 2017

GBP/USD July 4 at 11:15 EDT

Open: 1.2947 High: 1.2959 Low: 1.2914 Close: 1.2929

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2571 1.2706 1.2865 1.2946 1.3058 1.3121
  • GBP/USD edged higher in the Asian session but gave up those gains in the European session. The pair is flat in North American session
  • 1.2865 is providing support
  • 1.2946 has switched to resistance and remains fluid

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2865, 1,.2706 and 1.2571
  • Above: 1.2946, 1.3058, 1.3121 and 1.3279
  • Current range: 1.2865 to 1.2946

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is unchanged in the Tuesday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (64%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD continuing to move downwards.

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.