GBP/USD continues to lose ground on Thursday. The pair has dropped under the 1.70 line for the first time since late June. On the release front, British Retail Sales improved in June, posting a weak gain of 0.1%. Looking at today’s releases, US Unemployment Claims sparkled, dropping to their lowest level in over eight years. However, New Home Sales dropped sharply in June, well shy of the forecast.
British Retail Sales, the primary gauge of consumer spending, improved to 0.1% in June, compared to -0.5% in the previous release. This was shy of the estimate of 0.2%, and points to weak consumer spending, a critical component of economic growth. On Wednesday, CBI Realized Sales, which tends to show sharp movement, jumped to 21 points, compared to a previous reading of just 4 points. The estimate stood at 18 points, and was the indicator’s best showing since March. There were no surprises from the BOE, as the votes on QE and interest rate levels were unanimous (9-0) decisions. Any dissenting votes in either decision could have resulted in strong movement by the pound.
Unemployment Claims tumbled last week, as the key indicator fell to 284 thousand, its lowest level since February 2008. This surprised the markets, which had expected a reading of 310 thousand. The strong release continues a string of solid employment data, and the dollar could get a boost from the good news. As well, good news on the employment front is bound to increase speculation about a rate increase by the Federal Reserve.
US housing data was dismal on Thursday, as New Home Sales slumped to a three-month low. The key indicator fell to 406 thousand, compared to 504 thousand in the previous release. The markets were way off in their forecast, with an estimate of 485 thousand. There was much better news earlier in the week, as Existing Home Sales jumped to 5.04 million, surpassing the estimate of 4.94 million. This was the best showing we’ve seen since October.
GBP/USD for Thursday, July 24, 2014
GBP/USD July 24 at 15:45 GMT
GBP/USD 1.6982 H: 1.7053 L: 1.6956
- GBP/USD was stable in the Asian session. In European trading, the pair touched a high of 1.7096 but then retracted. GBP/USD is almost unchanged in North American trading.
- 1.6920 is the next support level.
- 1.7000 is a weak resistance line. 1.7183 is stronger.
- Current range: 1.6920 to 1.7100.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.6920, 1.6825, 1.6700 and 1.6556
- Above: 1.7000, 1.7183, 1.7228 and 1.7383
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
GBP/USD is pointing to gains in long positions in Thursday trade, continuing the direction which has marked the ratio for most of the week. This is not consistent with the movement of the pair, as the pound continues to post losses. A substantial majority of open positions in the GBP/USD ratio are short, indicative of a trader bias towards the dollar continuing to make inroads against the pound.
- 8:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.1%.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 310K. Actual 298K.
- 13:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 57.5 points. Actual 56.3 points.
- 14:00 US New Home Sales. Estimate 485K. Actual 406K.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 95B. Actual 90B.
* Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT