GBP/USD – Pound Jumps as British GDP Beats Estimate

The British pound has posted sharp gains in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3295, up 0.95% on the day. On the release front, British Preliminary GDP improved to 0.4%. British High Street Lending and Index of Services both met expectations. US data was sharp, as durable goods orders and housing reports beat the forecasts. Core Durable Goods Orders gained 0.7%, above the estimate of 0.5%. Durable Goods Orders soared 2.2%, crushing the estimate of 1.0%. As well, New Home Sales jumped to 667 thousand, well above the forecast of 555 thousand. On Thursday, the US releases unemployment claims and Pending Home Sales.

British GDP showed the economy expanded 0.4% in the third quarter, its strongest gain since Q4 in 2016. The strong reading has sent the pound sharply higher and raised speculation that the Bank of England will raise rates at its November 2 meeting. Policymakers remain divided over a rate hike, which would be the first in a decade. Proponents of a rate increase point to inflation running at 3.0%, above the Bank’s target of 2.0%, but opponents argue that the economy is showing signs of weakness and a rate hike in current conditions would not be appropriate.

Who will take over at the Federal Reserve? The markets are keeping close tabs on the central bank, as Janet Yellen’s 3-year term expires in February. President Trump has said he will nominate a new Fed head in the coming days, and the front runners are economist John Taylor and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell. Taylor advocates a rule in which interest rates could be as high as 3 percent, given current economic conditions. Powell is more closely aligned to Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s monetary stance which advocates an incremental increase in rates. With the two candidates representing sharply differing views on interest rate levels, Trump’s choice for the new Fed chair could have an effect on monetary policy and the strength of the US dollar. Still, most economists are of the view that monetary policy will be largely driven by the performance of the US economy. Inflation levels remain weak and may not reach Fed’s target of 2 percent before 2020, but that has not dampened expectations of a December rate hike. According to CME FedWatch, the odds of a raise in December stand at 96 percent.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (October 25)

  • 4:30 British Preliminary GDP. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.4%
  • 4:30 British High Street Lending. Estimate 41.8K. Actual 41.6K
  • 4:30 British Index of Services. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Core Durable Goods Orders. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.7%
  • 8:30 US Durable Goods Orders. Estimate 1.0%. Actual 2.2%
  • 9:00 US HPI. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.7%
  • 10:00 US New Home Sales. Estimate 555K. Actual 667K
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate -2.6M

Thursday (October 26)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. 235K
  • 10:00 US Pending Home Sales. Estimate 0.2%

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

GBP/USD October 25 at 11:50 EDT

Open: 1.3135 High: 1.3272 Low: 1.3110 Close: 1.3259

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3022 1.3122 1.3224 1.3347 1.3444 1.3514

GBP/USD edged higher in the Asian session. The pair posted sharp gains in European trade and has steadied in the North American session

  • 1.3224 is providing support
  • 1.3347 was tested earlier in resistance

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3224, 1.3122, 1.3022 and 1.2904
  • Above: 1.3347, 1.3444 and 1.3514
  • Current range: 1.3224 to 1.3347

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is unchanged in the Wednesday session. Currently, long positions have a slim majority (52%), indicative of slight trader bias towards GBP/USD continuing to rally.

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.