GBP/USD has started the trading week with sharp gains. In the European session, GBP/USD is trading at 1.1678, up 0.80% on the day.
Pound soars despite weak UK data
It’s a busy economic calendar this week in the UK. The markets were treated to a data dump today, highlighted by GDP and Manufacturing Production. In July, GDP grew by a modest 0.2% MoM, shy of the estimate of 0.5%, but an improvement from the -0.6% reading in June. Manufacturing Production in July dipped to 1.1% YoY, down from 1.3% in June and missing the estimate of 1.7%.
Despite the lukewarm data, the pound has soared, which is clearly a case of US dollar weakness rather than UK strength. The dollar is lower today against the majors, with the exception of the Japanese yen. We could see more volatility from GBP/USD on Tuesday, with the UK releasing employment data and the US publishing the August inflation report.
The UK labour market remains robust, one of the few bright lights in a grim economic landscape. Unemployment rolls are expected to continue to drop, and wage growth, which has been moving higher (although much slower than inflation) is forecast to rise to 5.1% in July (3Mo/Yr), up from 4.7% in June.
All eyes will be on Tuesday’s US inflation report for August, with the markets expecting CPI to fall to 8.1%, down from 8.5%. This would mark a second straight decline, and would raise speculation that inflation has at last peaked. Following the unexpected drop in July’s inflation release, market exuberance that the Fed would make a U-turn on its aggressive tightening sent the equity markets up and the US dollar sharply. The Fed has stuck to its policy, and the markets appear to have a healthier respect for the Fed’s commitment to remain aggressive, with the market pricing in a 75 basis point hike at the meeting on September 21st. Tuesday’s inflation report will be doubly important, as it marks the final economic release before the September meeting.
- GBP/USD is testing resistance at 1.1689, followed by resistance at 1.1790
- There is support and 1.1548 and 1.1447
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