GBP/USD – British pound takes breather after volatile week

GBP/USD is up slightly in the Monday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.2610, up 0.18% on the day. On the release front, the Empire State Manufacturing Index dropped sharply to 10.9, down from 23.3 points in the previous release. This was well short of the estimate of 20.1 points. Later in the day, the U.K. releases Rightmove HPI, which is expected to decline by 1.5%. On Tuesday, the U.S. releases housing starts and building permits.

With constant twists and turns in the Brexit saga, traders shouldn’t be surprised that the British pound has responded with volatility. Last week was a roller-coaster for the currency, as GPB/USD moved over 1 percent on two separate days last week. The volatility was in response to last week’s dramatic events surrounding Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May survived an internal non-confidence motion in the Conservative party. However, one-third of Conservative MPs voted against May, leaving the prime minister in a weak position, ahead of a parliamentary vote on Brexit, which will likely be held in January.

The EU has insisted that the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened, and May was unable to extract any concessions from the EU on a whirlwind trip last week. May will have a tough time pushing the deal through parliament, and if she is not successful, Britain could well be on its way to leaving the EU without a deal, which would have a chilling effect on the U.K. economy and the British pound.

U.S. retail sales climbed in November, but the gains were muted compared to October. Core retail sales dropped from 0.7% to 0.2%, while retail sales declined to 0.2%, down from 0.8%. Still, retail sales managed to beat the estimate of 0.1%. Lower oil prices have boosted consumer spending, which is expected to look strong in the fourth quarter. Inflation has dipped of late, CPI dropped to 0.0% in November, down from 0.3% a month earlier. This marked the lowest level since May. Core CPI remained pegged at 0.2 percent. The weak readings can be attributed to falling oil prices, which has led to a sharp decline in gasoline prices. On an annualized basis, inflation gained 2.2 percent in November, down from 2.5 percent in October.

OANDA Trading: Asia market update

Interesting Week Ahead For Markets

UK’s May says rescheduling Brexit vote in parliament for mid-Jan

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Monday (December 17)

  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 20.1. Actual 10.9
  • 10:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index. Estimate 61
  • 16:00 US TIC Long-Term Purchases
  • 19:01 British Rightmove HPI. Estimate -1.5%

Tuesday (December 18)

  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.27M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.23M

*All release times are EST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Monday, December 17, 2018

GBP/USD December 17 at 11:25 EST

Open: 1.2588 High: 1.2647 Low: 1.2574 Close: 1.2610

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2365 1.2488 1.2589 1.2706 1.2812 1.2915

GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session. The pair edged higher in European trade but has given up some of these gains in North American trade

  • 1.2589 is fluid. Currently, it is a weak support line
  • 1.2706 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.2589 to 1.2706

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2589, 1.2488, 1.2365 and 1.2229
  • Above: 1.2706, 1.2812 and 1.2915

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.