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GBP/USD Analysis: Sterling Gains May Not Last Long

  • Sterling rose to $1.275 yesterday, its strongest level in about two months, after a higher-than-expected UK inflation reading reduced bets on a Bank of England rate cut.
  • According to economic calendar data, annual inflation in the UK fell to 2.3% in April, close to the Bank of England's target of 2%, but was above expectations of 2.1%.
  • Also, core inflation slowed for the third consecutive month to 3.9%, the lowest since October 2021, but above the 3.6% forecast.

GBP/USD Analysis Today 23/5: Gains May Not Last Long -graph

Investors almost gave up on the opportunity to cut borrowing costs in June, with the first cut only priced in November. The Bank of England kept interest rates steady in May, with two members proposing to cut them and signaling a shift towards lower borrowing costs.

On another level, the UK public sector records its largest deficit since 2021.

Net borrowing by the public sector, excluding public sector banks, rose to £20.5 billion in April 2024, compared with £19.0 billion in the same period last year and market forecasts of £19.3 billion. Obviously, this was the biggest public sector deficit since April 2021, with spending up 3% and revenues up 1.9%. Total public sector spending rose by £3.1 billion to £106.3 billion, with cuts in interest payable and support payments to close energy support schemes offset by spending on public services and benefits.

Meanwhile, revenues rose by £1.6 billion to £85.7 billion, driven by a 3.8% rise in central government tax revenues. Furthermore, looking at the full financial year ending April 2024, borrowing rose to £121.4 billion more than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast of £114.1 billion. This was equivalent to 1.9% of the UK's GDP.

On the US side, policymakers at the Federal Reserve indicated that they still expect inflation to return to 2% over the medium term, although recent data has not increased their confidence in progress towards the target. According to the minutes of the FOMC meeting from April 30 to May 1. As a result, officials indicated that the process of slowing inflation is likely to take longer than previously thought, and some suggested being prepared to tighten policy further if upside inflation risks materialize in a way that warrants such action.

Maintaining the current target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25%-5.50% was supported by mixed data indicating continued strong economic growth. Ultimately, the US Federal Reserve kept the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25%-5.50% during its meeting in May for the sixth time in a row.

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    Technical forecasts for the GPB/USD pair today:

    According to the performance on the daily chart, the GBP/USD exchange rate remains on its upward trajectory. As mentioned before, the resistance levels of 1.2775 and 1.2840 are crucial for further bullish movement towards the psychological resistance at 1.3000. Conversely, on the same time frame, a move below the support level of 1.2640 would threaten the current upward rebound. So far, we prefer selling GBP/USD at every upward level. Today, the pair will be influenced by the reaction to the contents of the minutes from the latest US Federal Reserve meeting yesterday, followed by the announcement of the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) readings for the manufacturing and services sectors from both the UK and the US.

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    Mahmoud Abdallah
    About Mahmoud Abdallah
    Mahmoud has been working fulltime in the Foreign Exchange markets for 12 years. Offers his analysis, articles and recommendations at the most renewed Arabic websites specialized in the global financial markets, and his experience gained a lot of interest among Arab traders. Works on providing technical analysis, market news, free signals and more with follow up for at least 12 hours a day, and aims to simplify forex trading and the concept of trading for his audience.

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