GBP/USD – Pound Slips as Inflation Comes Up Short

The British pound has posted losses in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.4220, down 0.48% on the day. On the release front, the UK released a host of inflation indicators, led by the consumer price index. CPI for March dipped to 2.5%, falling short of the estimate of 2.7%. There are no major US indicators on the schedule. On Thursday, the UK releases retail sales. The US will publish unemployment claims and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index.

Inflation continues to weaken in the UK. The April consumer price index dropped to 2.5%, after six consecutive readings of around 3.0 percent. The soft reading surprised the markets, and the pound responded with losses. The real producer index and other inflation indicators also missed their estimates. However, the markets still expect the Bank of England to raise rates at next month’s policy meeting. Policymakers in favor of a rate hike can point to the fact that inflation still remains well above the BoE target of 2 percent and the labor market remains tight. The pound has jumped more than 5% against the greenback this year, and if the BoE raises rates next month, the pound will likely make further gains.

The recent trade battle between the US and China has been overshadowed by events in Syria, but the threat of further tariffs between the world’s largest two economies could again roil the markets and in turn, send gold prices higher. Another salvo was fired on Tuesday, as China slapped a tariff of some 179% on US sorghum crops, which is a livestock feed. China imports about $1 billion of sorghum annually, and the tariff, if it remains in place, will essentially halt US exports of sorghum to China. The Chinese government has threatened to impose tariffs on US soybean exports, valued at some $12 billion each year. If the US opts to retaliate, the specter of an ugly trade war between the US and China could spook investors and boost the US dollar against the British pound and other rivals.


GBP/USD Fundamentals

 Wednesday (April 18)

  • 4:30 British CPI. Estimate 2.7%. Actual 2.5%
  • 4:30 British PPI Input. Estimate 0.3%. Actual -0.1%
  • 4:30 British RPI. Estimate 3.5%. Actual 3.3%
  • 4:30 British Core CPI. Estimate 2.5%. Actual 2.3%
  • 4:30 British HPI. Estimate 4.8%. Actual 4.4%
  • 4:30 British PPI Output. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.1%
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate -0.5M. Actual -1.1M
  • 14:00 US Beige Book 
  • 15:15 US FOMC Member William Dudley Speaks
  • 16:15 US FOMC Member Randal Quarles Speaks

 Thursday (April 19)

  • 4:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate -0.5%
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 20.8
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 230K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold


GBP/USD for Wednesday, April 18, 2018

GBP/USD April 18 at 11:45 EDT

Open: 1.4288 High: 1.4315 Low: 1.4173 Close: 1.4220


GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3901 1.4010 1.4128 1.4227 1.4345 1.4452

GBP/USD showed little movement in the Asian session. The pair posted considerable losses in European trade and has steadied in the North American session

  • 1.4128 is providing support
  • 1.4227 was tested earlier in support and is a weak line
  • Current range: 1.4128 to 1.4227

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.4128, 1.4010, 1.3901
  • Above: 1.4227, 1.4345, 1.4452 and 1.4565

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio continues to show little movement this week. Currently, short positions have a majority (61%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD continuing to move 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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