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Sterling Revisits Support as Momentum Turns Negative

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The GBPUSD currency pair is revisiting support levels as the perception that the US will tighten interest rates in June has overwhelmed the pound.  The yield differential continues to move in favor of the greenback, pushing the currency pair to 1-month lows.

The calendar is just now a week away from the Federal Reserve meeting scheduled to take place on March 17 and 18.  Focus is on both UK and US retail data. UK February BRC retail sales disappointed at +0.2% year over year, below the median forecast of 0.4% growth. Bad weather in February 2014 had suggested there might have been a better year over year comparison. Nonetheless, the data paints a better picture than the previously released February CBI distributive sales survey, which showed a marked drop in department store and supermarket sales.

Weakness in February is largely a hangover of very robust sales in November, prompted by the first U.S.-style black Friday event in the UK, and unexpectedly strong activity in December. The outlook for the sector remains robust, with average household incomes accelerating on the back of trending improvement in the labor market.

Industrial production is expected to rise 0.3% month over month and 1.4% year over year in January data, and the narrower manufacturing output figure to post a 0.2% month over month and 2.6% advance.

Data of interest in the US will be on Thursday with retail sales and to Friday with PPI and consumer sentiment. Retail sales are expected to rebound 0.6% in February after January’s 0.8% decline when weak prices at the gas pump more than overshadowed the benefits to consumers’ wallets. Sales excluding autos are seen rising 0.8% and almost reversing the 0.9% drop in January. Import prices are forecast unchanged in February following the 2.8% plunge previously, with export prices down 0.8% after the prior 2.0% decline. PPI looks to remain weak at -0.1% for February, though not as soft as the -0.8% in January. The core rate should edge up 0.1% after dipping 0.1% previously. Consumer sentiment should falter to 93.5 after sinking to 95.4 in February from January’s solid 98.1.

The GBPUSD is testing 12-month lows near 1.4950.  Momentum is negative with the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index generating a sell signal.  This occurs as the spread (the 12-day moving average minus the 26-day moving average) crossing below the 9-day moving average of the spread.  The index moved from positive to negative territory confirming the sell signal.  The RSI moved lower with price action reflecting accelerating negative momentum.

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The post Sterling Revisits Support as Momentum Turns Negative appeared first on Forex Circles.

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