GBP/USD has posted gains in Thursday trading and pushed above the 1.25 line earlier in the day. In the North American session, GBP/USD is trading at 1.2490. On the release front, US Final GDP posted a gain of 2.1%, edging above the estimate of 2.0%. Unemployment claims jumped to 258 thousand, well above the forecast of 244 thousand. Later in the day, the UK releases consumer confidence data. On Friday, the UK will publish Current Account and Final GDP. The key US event is UoM Consumer Sentiment.
President Trump has taken aim at currency manipulators, according to report out of the US on Thursday. During the presidential campaign, Trump attacked China for undervaluing its currency, and recently claimed that Japan was artificially lowering the yen in order to gain an unfair trading advantage. Although the report provided no specifics, threats from the US to sanction currency manipulators could have significant impact on the currency markets.
It’s been a rough start for the Trump administration, which has been beset by controversy and crises. Trump, who has been in office for more than two months, has yet to provide any details of an economic policy, to the consternation of the markets. Last week, Trump’s proposed healthcare bill was dead on arrival before even being voted on, a humiliating defeat for the president. This setback has made the markets even more jittery about Trump, and the inquiry into the Trump administration’s links with Russia is gathering steam, which is another cause for concern for nervous investors. Trump has said he will now focus on tax reform, but the White House will need to improve coordination with Republican lawmakers to ensure that his next attempt to pass legislation is not a repeat of the healthcare debacle.
With the shock of the stunning Brexit vote still resonating, the UK gave formal notice its intent to leave the EU on Wednesday. The negotiations over the breakup, are supposed to be conducted over a two-year period, and promise to be tough and perhaps acrimonious. The EU has no intentions of giving Britain a better deal than it had within the club, and wants the first item of business to be “exit bill” for Britain’s share of debts, pensions and other payments. The EU says the amount in demand could be as high as EUR 60 billion, but the UK government is likely to balk at the bill. For its part, the British government needs to reach what it considers a fair deal, and has threatened to leave the EU without a deal if the EU is intransigent in the negotiations. That scenario, labeled “hard Brexit”, would likely take a toll on the British economy and could send the pound downward. We’re likely to have some down time before negotiations even begin, as some European policymakers have suggested June as a starting date.
Thursday (March 30)
- 8:30 US Final GDP. Estimate 2.0%. Actual 2.1%
- 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 244K. Actual 258K
- 8:30 US Final GDP Price Index. Estimate 2.0%. Actual 2.1%
- 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -37B. Actual -43B
- 11:00 US FOMC Member Robert Kaplan Speech
- 23:01 British GfK Consumer Confidence. Estimate -7
Upcoming Key Events
Friday (March 31)
- 8:30 British Current Account. Estimate -16.3B
- 8:30 British Final GDP. Estimate 0.7%
- 10:00 US Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 97.8
*All release times are GMT
*Key events are in bold
GBP/USD for Thursday, March 30, 2017
GBP/USD March 30 at 12:30 EST
Open: 1.2440 High: 1.2525 Low: 1.2402 Close: 1.2490
- GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session. The pair was been choppy in the European session and has posted gains in North American trade
- 1.2471 has switched to support and remains fluid
- 1.2571 is the next resistance line
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.2471, 1.2351, 1.2272 and 1.2154
- Above: 1.2571, 1.2706 and 1.2865
- Current range: 1.2471 to 1.2571
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
GBP/USD ratio continues to show limited movement this week. Currently, long positions have a slender majority (52%). This is indicative of slight trader bias towards the pair continuing to move higher.