GBP/USD – British pound slips as nervous investors stick with greenback

GBP/USD has recorded considerable losses in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.2900, down 0.65% on the day. On the release front, there are no major British or U.S events. British mortgage lending fell to 38.5 thousand, shy of the estimate of 39.0 thousand. In the U.S, New Home Sales dropped sharply to 553 thousand, well short of the estimate of 627 thousand. On Thursday, the U.S releases core durable goods orders and unemployment claims.

Geopolitical tensions are escalating, which has sent jittery investors in the direction of the safe-haven U.S dollar. These include the U.S-China trade war, the uproar over the killing of a Saudi journalist in Turkey and tense relations between Moscow and Washington. There are headaches in Europe as well, with concerns over the Italian budget and the Brexit negotiations. Prime Minister May continues to face difficulties with a restless cabinet, as some ministers are uneasy about her remarks last week that she was open to extending the transition period. Brexiteers are also unhappy that May appears willing to accept the Irish backstop clause without a time limit, which could leave the UK tied to the EU for an interminate period of time. With just five months until Britain leaves the EU, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to weigh on the pound, which dropped below the 1.29 line earlier on Wednesday.

With the Federal Reserve widely expected to raise rates in December, what can we expect in 2019? Many economists expect three rate hikes next year, and this was reinforced by Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan on Wednesday. Kaplan said he expects rates to rise into a range of 2.5% to 2.75%, or more likely, into a range of 2.75% to 3.00%. Kaplan noted that his estimate of a “neutral rate’ is slightly below 3% – anything above this level would move rates into a “restrictive’ stance, which could hamper economic growth and push inflation lower. The stock markets received a jolt this week as Chinese growth slipped to a 10-year low in the third quarter, and further weak numbers out of China could affect the U.S economy and cause the Fed to scale back its rate hike plans for 2019.

China shares lead the way upwards, again

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When the (equity) walls come tumbling down

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (October 24)

  • 4:30 British High Street Lending. Estimate 39.0K. Actual 38.5K
  • 9:00 US HPI. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.3%
  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4. Actual 55.9
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 54.1. Actual 54.7
  • 10:00 US New Home Sales. Estimate 627K. Actual 553K
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 3.6M. Actual 6.3M
  • 13:00 US FOMC Member Raphael Bostic Speaks
  • 13:10 US FOMC Member Loretta Mester Speaks
  • 14:00 US Beige Book

Thursday (October 25)

  • 8:30 US Core Durable Goods Orders. Estimate 0.5%
  • 8:30 US Durable Goods Orders. Estimate -1.3%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 214K

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Wednesday, October 24, 2018

GBP/USD October 24 at 11:45 DST

Open: 1.2984 High: 1.2992 Low: 1.2888 Close: 1.2900

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2590 1.2723 1.2852 1.2966 1.3173 1.3301

GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session. The pair posted considerable gains in European trade and has recorded small losses in North American trade

  • 1.2852 is providing support
  • 1.2966 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.2852 to 1.2966

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2852, 1.2723 and 1.2590
  • Above: 1.2966, 1.3173, 1.3301 and 1.3447

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.