British pound shrugs as Construction PMI misses estimate

  • UK Construction PMI remains in decline
  • BoE’s Bailey warns of ‘higher for longer’ rate policy

The British pound is showing limited movement on Wednesday. GBP/USD is trading at 1.2582 in the North American session, down 0.10%.

UK Construction PMI barely moves

The UK Construction PMI ticked lower to 45.5 in November, compared to 45.6 in October and shy of the consensus estimate of 46.3. The construction sector has been in contraction for most of the year and the November print marked a third straight month in contraction. The weak housing market has resulted in a decrease in house building and chilled activity in the construction industry.

There was better news from the UK Services PMI on Tuesday, which was revised higher to 50.9 in November, up from the preliminary estimate of 50.5. The PMI accelerated from the October print of 49.5 and indicated expansion for the first time in four months, with a reading above the 50 level which separates contraction from expansion.

The Bank of England has held rates at 5.0% since August, leading to growing speculation that the BoE is done with rate hikes. This has led to expectations of rate cuts in 2024, but Governor Bailey pushed back against such expectations today, stating that interest rates would need to stay at current levels for an “extended period to bring inflation back to target on a sustained basis”.

This was a very clear message that the central bank plans to stick with the “table mountain” approach (higher for longer) and is not considering rate cuts. Inflation fell to 4.6% in October, a sharp drop from the 6.7% gain in decline. Still, that is more than double the 2% target and the BoE is unlikely to trim rates until inflation is significantly lower.

In the US, the ADP employment report showed little change in the November report. ADP is not a very reliable indicator for job growth but is nonetheless closely monitored as it precedes nonfarm payrolls by just two days. ADP eased to 103,000 in November, slightly lower than the downwardly revised 106,000 in October and well off the consensus estimate of 130,000. Nonfarm payrolls is expected to rise to 185,000 in November, up from 150,000 in October.

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GBP/USD Technical

  • There is resistance at 1.2624 and 1.2678
  • 1.2536 and 1.2482 are the next support levels

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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 Investing.com, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.