The British pound is slightly lower against the US dollar on Thursday. However, GBP/USD continues to trade at high levels, as the pair trades in the mid-1.71 range in the North American session. On the release front, British Services PMI softened in June and missed the estimate. In the US, Nonfarm Payrolls jumped last month, and the Unemployment Rate dropped to its lowest level in almost six years. US Trade Balance improved slightly in June.
British Services PMI lost ground last month, dipping to 57.7 points, shy of the estimate of 58.1 points. Earlier in the week, Manufacturing and Construction PMIs moved higher, pointing to increased expansion in the manufacturing and construction sectors. On Wednesday, Construction PMI rose to 62.6 points, beating the forecast of 59.7. The index has remained above the 60-point level throughout 2014, as the construction sector, buoyed by the red-hot housing market, continues to expand. Earlier in the week, British Manufacturing PMI improved slightly in the June release. The index came in at 56.7 points, posting a seven-month high.
In the US, it’s been an excellent week for employment data. Nonfarm Payrolls led the way on Thursday as the key indicator bounced back in June with a strong release, coming in at 288 thousand new jobs. This crushed the estimate of 214 thousand. Unemployment Claims was steady at 315 thousand, almost replicating the estimate of 314 thousand. There was more good news from the Unemployment Rate, which continues to move downward. The indicator dipped to 6.1%, its lowest level since September 2008. The strong employment numbers are sure to increase speculation about an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, and after the Fourth of July holiday, the markets will be closely attuned to remarks from Federal Reserve policymakers.
GBP/USD for Thursday, July 3, 2014
GBP/USD July 3 at 15:45 GMT
GBP/USD 1.7144 H: 1.7164 L: 1.7104
- GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session and dipped in European trading, dropping close to the 1.71 level. The pair has recovered most of these losses in North American trading.
- 1.7000 continues to provide strong support.
- 1.7183 remains an immediate resistance line. Will the pair break through this barrier? This is followed by 1.7228, which has held firm since October 2008.
- Current range: 1.7000 to 1.7183.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.7000, 1.6920, 1.6825 and 1.6700
- Above: 1.7183, 1.7228, 1.7383 and 1.7482
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
GBP/USD is pointing to gains in short positions on Thursday, reversing the direction we say a day earlier. This is consistent with the movement of the pair, as the pound has posted slight losses. A strong majority of open positions in the GBP/USD ratio are short, indicative of a trader bias towards the dollar moving higher.
- 8:30 British Services PMI. Estimate 57.7 points. Actual 58.1 points.
- 8:30 British Housing Equity Withdrawal. Estimate -10.2B. Actual -12.2B.
- 12:30 US Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 214K. Actual 288K.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 314K. Actual 315K.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Rate. Estimate 6.3%. Actual 6.1%.
- 12:30 US Trade Balance. Estimate -45.1B. Actual -44.4B.
- 12:30 US Average Hourly Earnings. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.2%.
- 13:45 US Final Services PMI. Estimate 61.1 points. Actual 61.0 points.
- 14:00 US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 56.2 points. Actual 56.0 points.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 100B. Actual 100B.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT