GBP/USD is in positive territory today. In the European session, the pound is trading at 1.1731, up 0.42%. GBP/USD continues to take advantage of US dollar weakness and has gained 240 points since Thursday.
Inflation has hit a staggering 10.1% and the Bank of England is projecting that inflation may not peak until 13%, with some analysts predicting an even higher peak. The manufacturing, services and construction sectors are either in contraction or stagnation and Brits now have to contend with a new prime minister and a new monarch after the death of Queen Elizabeth. The UK has phased out energy imports from the UK, but the weak EU economy is taking a toll on the UK, as the two are close trading partners.
The UK labour market remains robust, one of the few bright lights in a grim economic landscape. Unemployment has fallen to 3.5%, a 50-year low, but wage growth in the three months to July rose 5.5% YoY, up from 5.2%. Employment rose by 40 thousand, down from 160 thousand prior and well below the forecast of 128 thousand.
For the Bank of England, the job numbers actually increase the odds of a supersize 75 basis point hike next week, as wage growth continues to rise and the labour market continues to tighten. The BoE, which has failed to show until now that it can curb spiralling inflation, may regain some credibility with a 75bp move.
US CPI expected to fall
All eyes are on the US inflation report, which will be released later today. The markets could be treated to mixed results – headline inflation is expected to drop to 8.1% (8.5% prior), while core CPI is forecast to rise to 6.1% (5.9% prior). With the Fed intent on remaining aggressive in order to tame inflation, the markets have priced in a 75bp increase at the September 21st meeting. The inflation release should be treated as a market-mover for the US dollar and has additional importance as it is the final key release before the Fed meeting.
- GBP/USD faces resistance at 1.1790. Above, there is resistance at 1.1931
- There is support at 1.1689 and 1.1548
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