GBP/USD – British pound edges higher as U.S consumer confidence sags

GBP/USD has edged higher in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.3221, up 0.17% on the day. On the release front, British mortgages slumped to their lowest level in almost six years. The February reading of 35.3 thousand was well below the forecast of 39.4 thousand. It was also a disappointing day for U.S. releases. Building permits slowed to 1.30 million, shy of the estimate of 1.32 million. CB consumer confidence fell sharply to 124.1, well below the estimate of 132.1 points. On Wednesday, the U.K. publishes CBI Realized Sales.

Another vote in parliament, another defeat for Theresa May. On Monday, lawmakers voted to wrestle control of the Brexit process away from the government. Parliament will now vote on Wednesday on various non-binding alternatives. These could range from a hard Brexit to holding a second referendum. The EU extended the March 29 Brexit deadline last week. If May’s withdrawal deal fails to pass for a third time, the U.K. would leave the EU on April 12 without a deal. If the deal is approved, the deadline would be extended until May 22. With plenty of Brexit drama ahead, we could see some swings from the British pound during the week.

The Federal Reserve has become more dovish, leaving investors in a glum mood. At last week’s meeting, policymakers indicated they had no plans to raise interest rates in 2019 and also lowered its growth forecast for 2019 to 2.1%, down from 2.3% in December. There was more bad news on Friday, as the spread between 3-month and 10-year Treasury notes turned negative for the first time since 2007, pointing to an inverted yield curve. All eyes will be on U.S. Final GDP, which will be released on Thursday. If GDP is weaker than expected, the U.S. dollar could lose ground.

Asia breathes a sigh of relief

Pound unfazed by latest Brexit development

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (March 26)

  • 5:30 British High Street Lending. Estimate 39.4. Actual 35.3
  • 6:30 US FOMC Member Evans Speaks
  • 7:00 British MPC Member Broadbent Speaks
  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.32M. Actual 1.30M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.22M. Actual 1.16M
  • 9:00 US HPI. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.6%
  • 9:00 US S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI. Estimate 4.3%. Actual 3.6%
  • 9:59 US Richmond Manufacturing Index. Estimate 12. Actual 10
  • 10:00 US CB Consumer Confidence. Estimate 132.1. Actual 124.1

Wednesday (March 27)

  • 7:00 British CBI Realized Sales. Estimate 5

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Tuesday, March 26, 2019

GBP/USD March 26 at 11:10 DST

Open: 1.3199 High: 1.3262 Low: 1.3158 Close: 1.3221

GBP/USD Technical

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

GBP/USD showed little movement in the Asian session. The pair reversed edged higher in European trade but has given back some of these gains in North American trade

  • 1.3170 is providing support
  • 1.3258 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3170 to 1.3258

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3170, 1.3070, 1.2910 and 1.2841
  • Above: 1.3258, 1.3362 and 1.3460

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental and macroeconomic analysis, Kenny Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in major online financial publications including, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.