Market Overview

GBP/USD: Pound Pressured

  • GBP/USD is leaning lower, closer to 1.3000, as the USD takes over.
  • Reactions to local elections and the NFP stand out.
  • The technical picture remains optimistic for the currency pair.

The US dollar seems unstoppable after the Federal Reserve and ahead of the Non-Farm Payrolls while the pound is suffering from Brexit uncertainty. Does this imply further falls? Not so fast.

In the battle between central banks, the Fed has the upper hand. Powell's confident message on Wednesday continues reverberating, pushing the dollar higher, but as time passes by, it makes way for other events.

The Bank of England's "Super Thursday" was not that super and is already forgotten. The BOE did not rock the boat by balancing optimism and caution about current economic trends and conditioning any move on the Brexit outcome. Governor Mark Carney and his colleagues remain Brexit-dependent.

GBP/USD has reasons to recover

The NFP may not necessarily be that great. The greenback is gaining on expectations that the actual gain in positions may be higher than what economic calendars show, mostly thanks to the upbeat ADP NFP figures that showed an impressive increase of 275K private sector jobs.

However, the ISM Manufacturing PMI's employment component showed a sharp deceleration in hiring. Moreover, the ADP NFP is not always a reliable hint towards the official BLS numbers.  All in all, leading indicators paint a balanced picture, not a positive one.

Apart from the change in jobs, markets will look closely at wages, which are projected to rise at a faster clip. 

UK data is OK. The third and last purchasing managers' index for climbed to 50.4, back to expansion territory, as fears of a hard-Brexit receded. The previous numbers for the manufacturing and construction sector were also within early projections. 

In politics, the ruling Conservative Party and opposition Labour may have another reason to reach an agreement on Brexit. Local elections have resulted in losses from both major parties. They may want to secure the UK's exit from ahead of the European Parliament elections on May 23rd to avoid another setback.

Both parties have reported progress so far, but the pound would like to see white smoke in talks as a signal to rallying. At least for now, the recent round of elections may be a positive trigger.

Overall, GBP/USD may seem pressured, but it has reasons to find its feet. The technicals are not that bad either.

GBP/USD Technical Analysis


GBP/USD is trading above the 200 Simple Moving Average on the four-hour chart as well as above the 50 SMA. Momentum remains positive and the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is balanced. All in all, bulls lead on bears.

Immediate resistance awaits at 1.3045 that capped the pair in recent hours. The round number of 1.3100 was a high point on Wednesday and serves as significant resistance. The next level is 1.3130 that held cable down in mid-April. 1.3200 is next.

The very round 1.3000 line is eyed by many traders and the point also coincides with the 200-SMA. The March low of 1.2960 remains a potent line. The temporary cap of 1.2920 from late April and the two-month trough of 1.2870 is next.

Posted-In: Brexit FXStreet GBP/USDNews Eurozone Global Markets General


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