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GBP in slow trading, month-end rebalancing flows + weaker US dollar dominate the picture

 


 

16:30: A slow day for GBP - but tomorrow should see a little more action


 

The pound sterling has had little by way of local data or events to contend with - tomorrow should be a little better.

@ 00:01: Mid-night sees the release of Gfk Consumer Confidence (May). Consensus is for a reading of -26. Previous was -27.

The GfK Group Consumer Confidence is a leading index that measures the level of consumer confidence in economic activity.

"Normally, a high reading is positive for the GBP, while a low reading is bearish," say FX specialists Alpari.
@ 9:30: Mortgage approvals, 54.500K consensus, 53.504K previous. These mortgage numbers are from the Bank of England - Generally, a high reading is seen as positive (or bullish) for the GBP.

@ 9:30: M4 Money Supply, 0.3% was the previous number. The M4 Money Supply released by the Bank of England measures all the sterling in circulation.

Alpari say: "It is considered as an important indicator of inflation, as monetary expansion adds pressure to the exchange rates. Normally, an acceleration of the M4 money is considered as positive for the GBP, whereas a decline is negative."

@9:30: More from the Bank of England - Consumer credit, £0.4B consensus, £0.5B previously. UK Net Lending to Individuals, £0.9B consensus, £0.9B previously.

 

14:48: Month-end rebalancing biased against US dollar


 

 Month-end currency flows are likely to dictate immediate currency market action.

The end of the month of May is tipped to be USD-negative by Barcalys analyst Aroop Chatterjee:

"US asset market outperformance versus the rest of world implies that foreign currencies are likely to be overhedged versus the USD in passively hedged international portfolios. As a result, our model expects a strong bias towards USD selling around month-end with the strongest signal."


13:40: Risks of further GBP/USD downside beginning to fade


 

 Camilla Sutton at Scotiabank:

"GBP is strong, up 0.1%, on a broadly weaker USD and minimal news flow. GBPUSD short‐term technicals: bearish but are beginning to fade there is better risk/reward elsewhere."

11:37 Technical forecasts

A couple of technical forecasts have been published on the site: GBP/AUD tipped to head higher on 'increadbly bullish' configuration. The euro is however forecasted to extend recent gains.

 

10:25: Good news from Lloyds

Today's only UK economic data release of significance is the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer - the reading jumped to 39 in May from 27 in April.

Good to see business confidence on the up.


10:14: GBP/EUR advances as confidence data fails to boost EUR

The latest set of Eurozone confidence data - the highlight of the day for EUR - has failed to provide EUR with a boost.

GBP/EUR is now at 1.1698.

 

9:00: Speculative sentiment on the British pound

Looking at speculative sentiment on the pound / euro we note spread betting firm IG Index have 60 pct of their open positions on the pair expecting the price to rise.

61 pct of those with open positions on GBP/USD are long on sterling.

bank beating exchange rates

8:15: At the open in London we see a broadly firmer British pound sterling (Currency:GBP):

The pound to euro exchange rate is marginally higher at 1.1698.
The pound to US dollar exchange rate is 0.24 pct up 1.5168.  
The pound to Australian dollar exchange rate is 0.23 pct higher at 1.5672.

8:10: The outlook for the pound sterling on Thursday the 30th

According to Lloyds Bank there are a couple of economic releases that could sway GBP:

"Household and business sentiment data will take centre stage across Europe today. In the UK the Lloyds Bank Commercial Business Barometer for May will be watched for guidance on Q2 GDP growth following the 0.3% q/q pickup in Q1. Last month, both firms' own trading prospects and their outlook for the UK economy improved, which suggested that the recovery in activity seen in Q1 was set to continue."

We forecast broader themes such as month-end rebalancing, US dollar strength and equity market flows to be key drivers for the British pound sterling today.