GBP/USD – British pound dips despite sharp retail sales

The British pound has posted losses in the Thursday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3328, down 0.36% on the day. On the release front, retail sales sparkled on both sides of the pond. British retail sales jumped 1.3%, crushing the estimate of 0.5%. In the U.S, core retail sales climbed 0.9%, its strongest gain since November. This easily beat the forecast of 0.5%. It was a similar story for retail sales, which improved 0.8%, above the forecast of 0.4%. There was more good news from the U.S employment front, as unemployment claims dropped to 218 thousand, below the estimate of 223 thousand.

Consumer spending has looked strong in the second quarter. Retail Sales in May posted a strong gain of 1.3%, after an even stronger gain of 1.6% in April. Both readings easily beat their estimates. An unusually warm May and the Royal Wedding contributed to stronger consumer spending, a key driver of economic growth. Another factor that may have coaxed consumers to spend more is lower inflation, which remained at 2.4% in May.

The markets had priced in a rate hike from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, and the Fed didn’t disappoint. The central bank raised interest rates by a quarter-point, to a range between 1.75 percent and 2.00 percent. Fed Chair Jerome Powell sounded hawkish in his press conference, saying that the economy was performing well and that “overall outlook for growth remains favorable”. This message echoed the rate statement, in which policymakers said that “economic activity has been rising at a solid rate”, pointing to stronger consumer spending and business investment. What was may have been the most notable development was that the Fed rate projections were revised upwards, predicting two additional rate hikes in 2018, for a total of four hikes. Until now, the Fed had projected three rate hikes this year. This represents a nod to the strength of the U.S economy and could boost the dollar against its rivals.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (June 14)

  • 4:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 1.3%
  • 8:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.9%
  • 8:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.8%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 223K. Actual 218K
  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.6%
  • 10:00 US Business Inventories. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.3%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 87B

Friday (June 15)

  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 19.1
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 98.5

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Thursday, June 14, 2018

GBP/USD June 14 at 11:30 DST

Open: 1.3377 High: 1.3447 Low: 1.3304 Close: 1.3328

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3088 1.3186 1.3301 1.3398 1.3494 1.3613

GBP/USD showed little movement in the Asian session. In European trade, the pair moved higher but then reversed directions and lost ground. GBP/USD has inched higher in North American trade

  • 1.3301 is providing support
  • 1.3398 is a weak resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3301 to 1.3398

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3301, 1.3186 and 1.3088
  • Above: 1.3398, 1.3494, 1.3613 and 1.3712

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio continues to show little movement this week. In the Thursday session, long positions have a majority (65%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD reversing directions and moving upwards.

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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