Saturday, April 21, 2018
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GBP/USD trying to keep it together ahead of UK inflation
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  • Sterling is keeping afloat ahead of UK CPI figures this week.
  • Risk-off markets haven’t been able to drag the GBP down from current levels.

The GBP/USD is trading sideways ahead of the European market session after a small decline to kick off the week’s trading, currently testing the 1.3930 neighborhood.

The Sterling has been fighting to stay afloat despite frequent bouts of risk aversion plaguing markets last week, and with economic optimism in the face of continuously-improving macro figures and an increasingly sunny outlook from the Bank of England (BoE), the GBP/USD is on pace to resume climbing once markets are able to catch a break from a stream of steady headlines that take the top off risk appetite amidst ongoing trade war fears as the White House looks increasingly willing to go shot-for-shot with both Europe and China over protectionist measures being chased by the Trump administration.

Macro figures continue to elevate the Pound

Income growth is contributing heavily to the chances that the BoE will begin lifting interest rates sooner rather than later, while a lack of rising wages continues to hamper inflation prospects for the US’ Federal Reserve and other central banks around the globe. This week’s key focus will be the UK’s Consumer Price Index figures, dropping Tuesday at 09:30 GMT. The Year-on-year CPI and Core CPI numbers are expected to come in at 2.9% and 2.5% respectively, compared to the previous 3.0% and 2.7%. An economic slowdown was widely expected heading into 2018’s first quarter, and a clean beat in the headline figures would likely spark buying on expectations of an imminent rate lift, while a big enough miss may cool off expectations. The BoE is expected to lift rates sometime in May, and the macro news has so far supported that forecast.

Little else of note is on the macro calendar ahead of Tuesday’s CPI data dump, though some traders will be keeping a close eye on FOMC member Raphael Bostic’s speech at 13:00 GMT later today. Bostic, who is the head of the Atlanta Fed, has appeared dovish recently, casting doubt on the Fed’s need to lift interest rates citing the ongoing threat of trade wars breaking out on the back of Trump’s tariff proposals.

GBP/USD Technicals

Action has been tightening ever since the January tumble sparked by the first round of inflation fear to hit the markets this year, but the Sterling is currently finding support against the Greenback from 1.3890 (34-day EMA), and further support from 1.3712 (March’s low); intraday action has been roughly lately, and current support is sitting at 1.3910 (mid-March swing point) with resistance at 1.3980 (last week’s high).

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