GBP/USD – Pound Subdued, UK Retail Sales Next

The British pound has posted small gains in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3484, down 0.08% on the day. On the release front, the sole UK indicator was the 30-y bond yield. Over in the US, housing data was positive. Building Permits jumped to 1.30 million, well above the forecast of 1.22 million. Housing Starts improved to 1.18 million, edging above the forecast of 1.17 million. On Wednesday, the UK releases Retail Sales and the US Federal Reserve will wind up its policy meeting and release a rate statement.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has made no secret of his grave concerns over Brexit, and he reiterated these worries on Monday at a speech at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Carney said that Britain’s loss of its trade relationship with the European Union would push inflation higher and slow growth, and labeled Brexit as “an example of de-globalisation, not globalisation.” Pro-Brexit supporters have been unhappy with Carney’s stance on Brexit, arguing that high inflation in the UK is a result of the BoE’s stimulus program and ultra- low interest rate policy, rather than Brexit. Carney also hinted at a rate hike, saying that monetary policy “would have to move”. The pound jumped 3.0% last week, after the minutes of the BoE’s policy meeting strongly hinted at a rate hike before the end of the year. This has led to speculation that the BoE could raise rates for the first time in a decade at the November 2 policy meeting.

The Federal Reserve will be front row and center on Wednesday. There is virtually no chance that the benchmark rate of 1.25% will change, so the markets are focusing on the Fed’s bloated balance sheet, which currently stands at $4.2 trillion. Earlier in the year, the Fed outlined plans to reduce the balance sheet by not replacing some maturing bonds, starting at $10 billion/month, and gradually moving higher. This move can be viewed as a mini-rate hike, and could provide a boost for the US dollar against its major rivals. The markets will also be keeping a close eye on the tone of the rate statement, as an optimistic view of the US economy could boost the greenback. Will the Fed provide any hints about one last rate hike in 2017? The Fed is still debating whether it will raise rates in December, as persistently low inflation has hampered plans for a third rate hike in 2017. However, the odds of a December increase have been moving higher in September, and are currently at 56%.


GBP/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (September 19)

  • 5:35 British 30-y Bond Auction. Actual 1.87%
  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.22M. Actual 1.30M
  • 8:30 US Current Account. Estimate -113B. Actual -123B
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.17M. Actual 1.18M
  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.6%

Wednesday (September 20)

  • 4:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate 0.2%
  • 10:00 US Existing Home Sales. Estimate 5.46M
  • 14:00 US FOMC Economic Projections
  • 14:00 US FOMC Statement
  • 14:00 US Federal Funds Rate. Estimate <1.25%
  • 14:30 US FOMC Press Conference

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold


GBP/USD for Tuesday, September 19, 2017

GBP/USD September 19 at 12:30 EDT

Open: 1.3495 High: 1.3552 Low: 1.3469 Close: 1.3584


GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3267 1.3347 1.3444 1.3514 1.3667 1.3809
  • GBP/USD posted gains in the Asian session. The pair edged lower in European trade and is showing little movement in the North American session
  • 1.3444 is providing support
  • 1.3514 was tested earlier in resistance and is under strong pressure

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3444, 1.3347, 1.3267 and 1.3159
  • Above: 1.3514, 1.3667 and 1.3809
  • Current range: 1.3444 to 1.3514

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio continues to show gain in short positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (63%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD reversing directions and moving lower.

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.
Kenny Fisher

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