GBP on the rise, retail sales and PMI next
The pound is in positive territory on Thursday. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.4181, up 0.47% on the day.
The UK will provide some key data on Friday. The highlight will be retail sales (6:00 GMT). Analysts expect a strong gain of 4.5% for April, after a strong gain of 5.4% in March. Next are the Manufacturing and Services PMIs, with a consensus of 60.7 and 62.2, respectively. These estimates all point to strong growth, as the UK economy continues to improve as health restrictions are relaxed.
Inflation has become the hot topic of market talk after inflation figures skyrocketed in the United States last week. With the UK economy reopening, it’s no surprise that UK inflation pressures are on the rise. Still, the BoE has given no indication that it is considering deviating from its ultra-accommodative policy. The BoE recently reduced its weekly bond purchases, while insisting it was not a policy tightening.
Let the taper debate begin (soon)
The FOMC’s minutes of the April policy meeting caught the markets off guard. The minutes indicated that Fed policymakers were ready to start considering cutting bond purchases in future meetings. The admission that the Fed is open to cutting was at odds with the Fed’s message that the Fed has been drumming for months, that the Fed has no plans to cut its massive QE program for the foreseeable future.
This move lowered stocks and pushed the US dollar higher, fearing the Fed would start tightening its policy as early as next month. Now that the FOMC has opened the door to a taper talk, there is the risk that markets will respond with a taper tantrum.
GBP / USD technical analysis
- GBP / USD is testing resistance at 1.4180 which has been relevant for much of the week. Above there is resistance at 1.4262
- There are support lines at 1.4003 and 1.3908
For an overview of all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar. www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/
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