GBP/USD – British pound rises to 10-week high on higher retail sales

GBP/USD has posted strong gains in the Thursday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.3260, up 0.85% on the day. On the release front, British retail sales posted a gain of 0.3%, beating the estimate of -0.2%. Over in the U.S indicators looked sharp, as Philly Fed Manufacturing Index and unemployment claims both beat expectations. On Friday, the UK releases public sector net borrowing.

A positive retail sales report on Thursday has boosted the British pound. Earlier in the day, GBP/USD climbed to 1.3299. its highest level since July 10. The currency moved higher after retail sales posted its fourth gain in five months. However, the gain of 0.3% in August was substantially lower than the July release of 0.7%. The respectable retail sales report follows a strong CPI release on Wednesday – the reading of 2.7% beat the estimate of 2.4%. This marked the strongest inflation reading since February.

After a brief respite, the US-China trade spat ratcheted upwards this week. Following weeks of speculation, U.S President Trump announced 10% tariffs on some $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Only this time, investors didn’t panic and the Japanese yen and other currencies have held their own against the greenback. Investors appeared to have been ready for a move by Trump, and may be sighing in relief that the tariff was set at 10% rather than at 25%. One senior economist summed up Trump’s most recent salvo as “bad but manageable”. However, if the Chinese do indeed retaliate and the U.S takes further measures, this would likely shake up the currency markets and boost the U.S dollar.

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GBP/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (September 20)

  • 4:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate -0.2%. Actual +0.3%
  • 5:35 British 10-year Bond Auction. Actual 1.60/1.9
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 17.5. Actual 22.9
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 210K. Actual 201K
  • 10:00 US CB Leading Index. Estimate 0.5%
  • 10:00 US Existing Home Sales. Estimate 5.36M
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 81B

Friday (September 21)

  • 4:30 British Public Sector Net Borrowing. Estimate 2.9B

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Thursday, September 20, 2018

GBP/USD September 20 at 11:20 DST

Open: 1.3144 High: 1.3299 Low: 1.3134 Close: 1.3254

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2966 1.3088 1.3173 1.3301 1.3458 1.3550

In the Asian session, GBP/USD ticked upwards but retracted. The pair has posted sharp gains in European trade and has edged lower in the North American session

  • 1.3173 is providing support
  • 1.3301 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3173 to 1.3301

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3173, 1.3088, 1.2966 and 1.2852
  • Above: 1.3301, 1.3458 and 1.3550

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.