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GBP/USD Price Forecast: Analyzing Two Patterns

GBP/USD Price Forecast: Analyzing Two Patterns. GBP/USD price forecast as we unravel the story of two distinct patterns shaping the currency pair’s future. 

POUND STERLING ANALYSIS & KEY POINTS

  • In a market that’s become a balancing act, the GBP/USD pair finds itself at a critical crossroads. Here’s a breakdown of the key factors at play:

Consumer Optimism vs. China’s Slowdown

  • Despite an encouraging surge in British Retail Consortium (BRC) retail sales, the British pound has yet to regain its footing above the 1.2600 handle. In the latest data, the highest percentage increase since April, indicates a momentary surge in consumer optimism, with spending concentrated in the food, health, and beauty sectors. The summertime environment may have contributed to this uptick, alongside the moderating UK inflation.
  • While the UK retail sales numbers paint a rosy picture, market attention remains riveted on China. The Chinese services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has hit its lowest point this year, with a reading of 51.8. This places it perilously close to the pivotal 50 level that distinguishes expansion from contraction in the services sector. Ongoing economic slowdown concerns in China are taking center stage, despite the government’s efforts to stimulate the economy through policy adjustments. With no significant changes materializing as yet, market caution prevails.

Upcoming Data and Events: Impact on GBP/USD

Later today, all eyes will be on the UK Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is expected to hit 2023 lows. This could potentially exert further downward pressure on the cable. Additionally, the upcoming US trading sessions are anticipated to introduce heightened market volatility, following the Labor Day holiday.

Bank of England’s Interest Rate Hike Prospects

The market continues to price in a 25-basis-point interest rate hike by the Bank of England (BoE) for September, though the probability has softened from nearly 100% to around 88%. With one more labor and Consumer Price Index (CPI) report on the horizon before the rate announcement, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any changes this month. However, should inflation decline further and labor market conditions weaken, we may witness significant reevaluations in the future.

Technical Analysis: Patterns Duel in GBP/USD

The GBP/USD pair squeezed between a longer-term head and shoulders pattern and a short-term falling wedge. While the falling wedge often indicates an impending upside breakout that could invalidate the head and shoulders pattern, the current situation might favor a head and shoulders breakdown below the neckline. Bearish traders have been cautious in pursuing a downward breakout, and we’ll be closely watching for a confirmation close below the 1.2548 swing low as a potential signal for another leg lower.

Key Resistance and Support Levels

  • Resistance Levels: 1.2900, 1.2848, 50-day moving average, 1.2680/Wedge resistance.
  • Key Support Levels: 1.2548, 1.2500/Wedge support, 200-day moving average.

Retail Trader Sentiment

  • Data from IG Client Sentiment (IGCS) reveals that retail traders are currently holding net LONG positions on GBP/USD, with 57% of traders taking LONG positions (as of the latest data).

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