GBP/USD – British pound unchanged after mixed job numbers

GBP/USD is steady in the Tuesday session. In the North American session, the pair is trading at 1.3265, down 0.09% on the day. There are no major U.S. events on the schedule. British employment numbers were mixed. On Wednesday, the U.K. releases a host of inflation indicators, led by CPI. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve winds up its monthly policy meeting and will release a rate statement.

British employment numbers were a mix on Tuesday. Wage growth continues to impress, posting a gain of 3.4% for a third successive month. The unemployment rate dipped to 3.9%, its lowest level since 1975. However, unemployment claims jumped to 27 thousand, marking a 10-month high. All in all, the employment picture remains solid, despite the turmoil of Brexit and the political and economic uncertainties that lie ahead.

The Brexit saga took an unusual twist on Tuesday, as a parliamentary vote on the withdrawal agreement has apparently been shelved. House Speaker John Bercow ruled that the government could not bring the agreement to a vote, unless it was substantially different than the text that had already been voted on twice. This ruling is another blow to Prime Minister May, whose authority has been badly shaken by the recent votes in parliament. May plans to go to Brussels on Thursday with cap in hand and request an extension of Article 50, the mechanism for the Brexit process. It remains unclear how long an extension May is looking for from the Europeans, who have not concealed their utter exasperation at Britain’s inability to get its Brexit act together. With no end in sight to the confusion and chaos surrounding Brexit, we could see further volatility from the pound.

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GBP/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (March 19)

  • 5:30 British Average Earnings Index. Estimate 3.2%. Actual 3.4%

  • 5:30 British Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.0%. Actual 3.9%

  • 5:30 British Claimant Count Change. Estimate 13.1K. Actual 27.0K

  • 10:00 US Factory Orders. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.1%

Wednesday (March 20)

  • 5:30 British CPI. Estimate 1.8%
  • 14:00 US FOMC Economic Projections
  • 14:00 US FOMC Statement
  • 14:00 US Federal Funds Rate. Estimate
  • 14:00 US FOMC Press Conference

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Tuesday, March 19, 2019

GBP/USD March 19 at 12:15 DST

Open: 1.3253 High: 1.3311 Low: 1.3241 Close: 1.3265

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2910 1.3070 1.3170 1.3258 1.3362 1.3460

GBP/USD ticked higher in the Asian session and was mostly flat in European trade. GBP/USD is showing little movement in the North American session

  • 1.3170 is providing support
  • 1.3258 is a weak next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3170 to 1.3258

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3170, 1.3070 and 1.2910
  • Above: 1.3258, 1.3362, 1.3460 and 1.3539

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