GBP/USD – British pound slips as Brexit volatility continues

After huge gains last week, GBP/USD has started the week with sharp losses. In Monday’s North American session, the pair is trading at 1.3194, down 0.74% on the day. It’s a light data calendar, with no British events on the schedule. In the U.S., the NAHB House Market Index. On Tuesday, the U.K. releases wage growth and claimant count change.

Brexit has reached a fever pitch, as parliament voted three times last week on Brexit. On Thursday, lawmakers voted to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union. Brexit is scheduled to take place on March 29, so an extension of Article 50 would give the May government some breathing room. However, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is far from over. It’s unclear how long an extension the E.U. would be willing to grant, although senior E.U officials have said that a year or more would be acceptable. The E.U. will have to reach a consensus from all 27 members, each of whom must vote in favor of an extension to Article 50. Parliament remains deeply divided over Brexit, and Prime Minister May, though badly shaken, hasn’t given up on her withdrawal deal. Parliament is scheduled to vote again on May’s withdrawal agreement, but the government could pull the vote if the numbers are not there to pass the proposal. Traders should be prepared for further volatility from the pound.

In the U.S., consumer inflation remains soft, which means there is little pressure on policymakers to raise rates in the near future. In February, Core CPI edged down to 0.1%, while CPI remained steady at 0.2%. Consumer inflation remains well below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2.0 percent, so there is little pressure on the Fed to raise rates anytime soon. Policymakers have been signaling that the Fed could stay on the sidelines until the second half of 2019, and this stance was underscored by Fed Chair Powell, who stated last week that the Fed would remain patient and was in no hurry to change interest rate policy. The dovish stance of the Fed could weigh on the dollar, as a lack of rate hikes makes the greenback less attractive to investors.

Yen slides on weak trade data

Sterling, yields and stocks set for a volatile week

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Sunday (March 17)

  • 20:01 British Rightmove HPI. Actual 0.4%

Monday (March 18)

  • 10:00 US NAHB House Market Index. Estimate 63

Tuesday (March 19)

  • 5:30 British Average Earnings Index. Estimate 3.2%
  • 5:30 British Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.0%
  • 5:30 British Claimant Count Change. Estimate 13.1K
  • 10:00 US Factory Orders. Estimate 0.3%
  • Tentative – Parliament Brexit Vote

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Monday, March 18, 2019

GBP/USD March 18 at 11:45 DST

Open: 1.3292 High: 1.3300 Low: 1.3185 Close: 1.3190

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2910 1.3070 1.3170 1.3258 1.3362 1.3460

GBP/USD was flat in the Asian session and posted losses in European trade. GBP/USD has posted small losses in North American session

  • 1.3170 is under presssure in support. It could break in the North American session
  • 1.3258 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3170 to 1.3258

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3170, 1.3070 and 1.2910
  • Above: 1.3258, 1.3362, 1.3460 and 1.3539

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.