GBP/USD – Testing support ahead of Fed and BoE

Can it break lower?

The pound has been trending lower against the dollar since the Russian invasion of Ukraine as traders have sought the safety of the greenback in times of stress.

But what’s interesting in recent days is that while market sentiment has improved, the pair has continued to slide. And with it now approaching 1.30 – a major historical psychological barrier – ahead of both the Fed and BoE meetings this week, what’s next for the pair?

For a bit of context, both central banks are fully expected to raise interest rates this week and multiple times more this year. While the Fed is only just embarking on its tightening cycle, a 25 basis point increase this week would be the third consecutive hike for the BoE, with the previous two coming in December (15 basis points) and February (25 basis points).

The perceived hawkishness of both could be key in determining the path of travel for the pair over the course of the week, with the market’s pricing in at least five more hikes from the Fed and four more from the BoE this year (on top of this week). That and, of course, developments in Ukraine.

It’s interesting that, while 1.30 looks to be coming under some pressure at the time of writing, the momentum indicators on the 4-hour chart don’t really offer much confidence. The divergence we’re seeing suggests a breakout will be challenging and unless we see a shift in the MACD and stochastic, perhaps even vulnerable to a false breakout if it does move below.

The longer-term trend is clearly against it though and if we do see a corrective move, the key levels that stand out are obviously 1.31 and 1.32 being notable recent areas of support and resistance on the way down.

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.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam