GBP/USD – Pound Under Pressure, BoE Rate Decision Next

The British pound is lower on Wednesday, as the currency has been under pressure for most of the week. In the North American session, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3883, down 0.48% on the day. On the release front, British Halifax HPI declined 0.6%, below the estimate of +0.2%. This marked the first decline since June. There are no US releases on the schedule. On Thursday, the US releases unemployment claims.

It’s been a rough week for the pound, which started the week with losses and has shed 1.6%. The US dollar has posted gains against the pound and the other majors, after a massive sell-off on global stock markets on Monday. The sell-off was precipitated by strong US nonfarm payrolls and wage growth reports on Friday. This triggered concerns that higher inflation was on the way, which in turn would result in more rate hikes this year. Higher interest rates make the dollar more attractive for investors, at the expense of other currencies. Although global stock markets have settled down, concerns remain that inflation could move higher after years of being AWOL across industrialized countries, and could again spook the markets.

The spotlight will be on the Bank of England on Thursday, as the bank sets the benchmark rate and releases the Inflation Report. The markets will be also be keeping a close eye on the Inflation Letter, which Governor Mark Carney is required to write due to inflation being more than 1% off the target of 2.0% (CPI is currently running at a 3.1% clip). Carney will address what the Bank is doing to lower inflation, and higher interest rates is one remedy, but one that Carney will hope to avoid, given the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The BoE is expected to hold current rates at 0.50%, and all nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee are expected to support this move. If some members vote in favor of a rate hike, the pound could respond with gains.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 7)

  • 3:30 British Halifax HPI. Estimate +0.2%. Actual -0.6%
  • 8:30 US FOMC Member William Dudley Speaks
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 3.2M. Actual 1.9M
  • 13:01 US 10-year Bond Auction
  • 15:00 US Consumer Credit. Estimate 19.9B
  • 17:20 US FOMC Member John Williams Speaks
  • 19:01 British RICS House Balance. Estimate 5%

Thursday (February 8)

  • 7:00 BoE Inflation Report
  • 7:00 MPC Official Bank Rate Votes. Estimate 0-0-9
  • 7:00 BoE Monetary Policy Summary
  • 7:00 BoE Official Bank Rate. Estimate 0.50%
  • 7:00 BoE Inflation Letter
  • 7:00 MPC Asset Purchase Facility Votes. Estimate 0-0-9
  • 7:00 British Asset Purchase Facility
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 236K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Wednesday, February 7, 2018

GBP/USD February 7 at 11:20 EDT

Open: 1.3950 High: 1.3994 Low: 1.3873 Close: 1.3883

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3613 1.3744 1.3809 1.3901 1.4010 1.4128

GBP/USD showed little movement in the Asian session. The pair posted considerable losses in European trade. In North American trade, the pair posted gains but has reversed directions and lost ground

  • 1.3809 is providing support
  • 1.3901 has switched to a resistance role after GBP/USD posted losses on Wednesday. It is a weak line

Current range: 1.3809 to 1.3901

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3809, 1.3744, 1.3613
  • Above: 1.3901, 1.4010, 1.4128 and 1.4271

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is showing little movement in the Wednesday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (60%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD continuing to head 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

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.