GBP/USD – Pound Edges Higher, Markets Eye British CPI

GBP/USD has posted slight gains in the North American session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading slightly above the 1.29 level. On the release front, there are no British economic events. Prime Minister Theresa May will take part in a Facebook Q&A session. In the US, the Empire State Manufacturing Index disappointed with a reading of -1.0, short of the forecast of 7.2 points. On Tuesday, the UK will release CPI and other inflation indicators. Over in the US, construction numbers will be in focus, with the release of Building Permits and Housing Starts.

All eyes are on British inflation indicators, which will be released on Tuesday. CPI, the primary gauge of consumer inflation, continues to move upwards, and the markets are expecting a strong gain of 2.6% in the April report. Last week, the BoE minutes indicated that if inflation is higher than predicted, it might have to respond by raising interest rates. The BoE stated in its minutes that it expected living standards to drop, as it downgraded its forecast for average earning growth to 2%, down from 3% in February. On the inflation front, the BoE raised its projection for inflation in Q1 to 2.7%, compared to 2.4% in February. According to the central bank, these forecasts were based on a “smooth” Brexit (which is by no means guaranteed, especially with the bad blood between the EU and Prime Minister Theresa May).

US numbers ended on the week on a mixed note. US consumer spending and inflation numbers fell short of estimates. CPI came in at 0.2%, short of the estimate of 0.3%. Core CPI, which excludes the most volatile items, posted a small gain of 0.1%, shy of the estimate of 0.2%. Retail Sales came in at 0.3%, compared to the forecast of 0.5%. Retail Sales rose 0.4%, short of the estimate of 0.6%. There was better news from consumer confidence, as the strong reading of 97.7 beat the forecast of 97.0 points. These numbers underscored a troubling trend where strong consumer confidence has failed to translate into increased consumer spending.

Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey could have been viewed as yet another controversial move by the temperamental president, but the firing has set off a political firestorm in Washington. Trump has been accused of triggering a constitutional crisis and undermining the rule of law. Comey had been conducting an investigation into possible collusion between Trump and Russia during the presidential campaign, so predictably, Comey’s dismissal has raised suspicions that Trump is trying to impede the investigation by firing Comey. The crisis could heat up further, with calls in Congress to appoint an independent investigator into Trump’s connections with Russia. This latest political storm has yet to shake up the markets, but a prolonged crisis could paralyze Washington and delay Trump’s agenda of tax reform and increased fiscal spending.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Monday (May 15)

  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 7.2. Actual -1.0
  • 10:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index. Estimate 68. Actual 70
  • 15:00 Prime Minister Theresa May Speaks
  • 16:00 US TIC Long-Term Purchases. Estimate 68.3B

Tuesday (May 16)

  • 4:30 British CPI. Estimate 2.6%
  • 4:30 British PPI Input. Estimate 0.1%
  • 4:30 British RPI. Estimate 3.4%
  • 4:30 British Core CPI. Estimate 2.2% 
  • 4:30 British HPI. Estimate 5.4%
  • 4:30 British PPI Output. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.27M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.26M

*All release times are EDT

*Key events are in bold


GBP/USD for Monday, May 15, 2017

GBP/USD May 15 at 12:10 EDT

Open: 1.2880 High: 1.2940 Low: 1.2880 Close: 1.2921


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 Asian trade. The pair has drifted in the European and North American sessions
  • 1.2865 is providing support
  • 1.2946 is a weak resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2865, 1.2706, 1.2571 and 1.2471
  • Above: 1.2946, 1.3058 and 1.3121
  • Current range: 1.2865 to 1.2946

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

In the Monday session, GBP/USD ratio  is showing short positions with a majority (63%). This is indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD reversing directions and moving to lower ground.

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

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental analysis, Kenneth Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in several major online financial publications including, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.