GBP/USD – British pound losses mount – will GDP reverse the trend?

GBP/USD is unchanged on Thursday, after losing ground for three successive days. In the North American session, the pair is trading at 1.3008, unchanged on the day. On the release front, there are no British indicators. In the U.S., producer price index reports softened in April. PPI dropped to 0.2%, down from 0.6%. This matched the forecast. Core PPI dropped from 0.3% to 0.1%, shy of the estimate of 0.2%. Unemployment claims ticked lower to 228 thousand, higher than the estimate of 215 thousand. On Friday, the U.K. releases monthly and quarterly GDP reports, as well as Preliminary Business Investment. In the U.S., the focus will be on consumer inflation indicators.

What can we expect from the Federal Reserve, which has kept a low profile? At last week’s policy meeting, the Fed maintained its key interest rate and indicated that it was comfortable with current monetary policy and had no plans to raise or lower rates in the coming months. However, the U.S. economy has exceeded expectations, with a sparkling GDP of 3.2% in Q1, and a sharp nonfarm payrolls of 263 thousand. Will these sharp numbers make a rate hike more likely? The markets don’t think so. According to the CME Group, there is zero probability that the Fed will raise rates before 2020. Moreover there is a 60% likelihood that the Fed will cut rates before the end of 2019. This sentiment could weigh on the greenback, as rate hikes make the currency more attractive to investors.

The Bank of England has sent out a message of a bias towards tightening rates, but is anybody listening? Last week BoE Governor Mark Carney that current markets expectations of future rate hikes were too modest. This hawkish stance failed to catch the attention of investors and the pound didn’t jump at the BoE’s command. Instead, GDP/USD has declined 1.25% so far this week and is testing the symbolic 1.30 level. The BoE has raised its forecast for U.K growth to 1.5%, up from the previous forecast of 1.2% and inflation is hovering close to the BoE’s target of 2.0%. With these healthy numbers, investors are not expecting rate hikes anytime soon, especially with the lingering uncertainty over Brexit.

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GBP/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (May 9)

  • 8:30 Fed Chair Powell Speaks
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Core PPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.1%
  • 8:30 US Trade Balance. Estimate -51.4B. Actual -50.0B
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 215K. Actual 228K
  • 10:00 US Final Wholesale Inventories. Estimate 0.0%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 88B
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction

Friday (May 10)

  • 4:30 British GDP. Estimate 0.0%
  • 4:30 British Manufacturing Production. Estimate 0.1%
  • 4:30 Preliminary GDP. Estimate 0.5%
  • 4:30 British Preliminary Business Investment. Estimate -0.9%
  • 8:30 US CPI. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Core CPI. Estimate 0.2%

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Thursday, May 9, 2019

GBP/USD May 9 at 10:10 DST

Open: 1.3007 High: 1.3026 Low: 1.2968 Close: 1.3008

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2841 1.2910 13000 1.3070 1.3170 1.3217

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

  • 1.3000 is a weak support level
  • 1.3170 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3000 to 1.3070

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3000, 1.2910, 1.2841 and 1.2730
  • Above: 1.3070, 1.3170 and 1.3217

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.