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GBP/USD Analysis: All Eyes on UK Employment

  • As expected, the GBP/USD pair fell at the start of this week’s trading as markets reacted to news of the early French elections.
  • Concurrently, its recent losses extended to the 1.2688 support level before settling around 1.2730 at the time of writing ahead of today’s UK employment and wages figures. 

GBP/USD Analysis Today - 11/06: UK Employment (Chart)

According to reliable trading platforms, the pound had risen last week before falling on Friday after the release of the US non-farm employment report. At the time of writing, the GBP/USD pair was trading at $1.2732, down from its weekly high of $1.2815 and roughly unchanged from the opening levels of the week. 

Sterling gives up gains amid lack of UK data. 

The pound sterling stumbled last week as the gloomy market mood weakened the appeal of the increasingly risk-sensitive British currency. However, risk appetite improved as Monday’s session progressed, allowing the pound to make an impressive comeback. Thus, the Confirmation of the UK manufacturing sector had returned to growth in May also appeared to provide some support to the pound. 

The pound then pared its gains the following day as a lack of UK economic data left it vulnerable to losses. In the middle of last week, the pound managed to fluctuate slightly higher despite the weak UK services PMI. Likewise, the survey results were in line with initial estimates, revealing a slowdown in growth in the services sector. However, as the sector continued to expand, the pound enjoyed support. 

Sterling then fluctuated at the end of the week, with UK data again disappointing. Thus, this left the GBP/USD pair vulnerable to a US dollar (USD) recovery, with sterling giving up its weekly gains. 

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Meanwhile, the US dollar fell sharply following the release of weaker-than-expected US ISM manufacturing PMI. Instead of rising as expected from 49.1 to 49.6, the May reading fell to 48.7 to reveal a sharper-than-expected contraction in US factory activity. But the safe-haven US dollar was able to recover some of its losses as market sentiment deteriorated. However, a bigger-than-expected drop in US job openings in April stifled the US dollar’s ​​recovery. Mixed data in the middle of last week saw the US dollar wobble. ADP employment figures fell more than expected, but the ISM services PMI beat expectations to show a strong expansion in US service sector activity in May. 

On Friday, strong jobs data saw the US dollar rally. The US non-farm payrolls report for May beat expectations to show an acceleration in job creation last month. The figure came in at 272,000, well above the 185,000 expected. This sent the US dollar higher, with GBP/USD down 0.4% on the day and erasing its weekly gains. 

What will affect the GBP/USD exchange rate this week: 

Looking at the influencers this week, we have some high-impact events. Perhaps most importantly, we have the latest US CPI data followed closely by the Fed’s interest rate decision. US inflation is expected to hold at 3.4% in May – suggesting that inflationary pressures are becoming stubborn. This could strengthen the US dollar on Wednesday. Then comes the Fed decision in the evening. If policymakers express their concerns about the stalling of progress on inflation and signal that another rate hike is possible, we could see the US dollar rally. 

However, if inflation falls short of expectations or the Fed ignores the CPI figures, the US dollar could weaken. 

As for the pound, sterling investors will initially take their cues from the latest UK labor market report. At the time of writing, economists are expecting the data to show a decline in employment coupled with slower wage growth. Obviously, if the employment data comes in as expected, bets on interest rate cuts from the Bank of England (BoE) could weigh on the pound. 

Attention then turns to the UK GDP reading for April, with the UK economy expected to grow by 0.2%. While this is slower than the 0.4% growth recorded in March, it could be enough to provide some support to the pound. Ultimately, if the GDP number comes in below or above expectations, we could see the pound weaken or strengthen respectively. 

Technical forecasts for the GPB/USD pair today: 

Despite the recent sell-off, the overall trend in the GBP/USD pair remains bullish, supported by the 1.2775 resistance level, which is currently closest to it. Technically, bulls will gain control of the trend if prices move towards the 1.2830 resistance level and the 1.3000 psychological resistance level respectively. In contrast, the 1.2600 support level threatens the current bullish stability. 

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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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