Sterling was in trouble during Thursday’s trading session, with prices crashing towards 1.3120 after the Bank of England left interest rates at a record low of 0.25% in August’s policy meeting. The unsavory combination of uninspiring UK economic data in July and uncertainty surrounding Brexit talks has pressured BoE hawks and dented expectations of a rate hike occurring anytime soon.
With the central bank downgrading its UK GDP growth forecast for both this year and 2018, Sterling is poised for further punishment down the road. Inflation estimates were also lowered to 2.58% next year, while the forecast for wage growth in 2018 and 2019 was trimmed to 3% and 3.25%, respectively.
With political uncertainty, soft economic fundamentals and ongoing Brexit concerns weighing heavily on the UK economy, investors may start to question if the BoE moves forward with raising rates in 2018. The sharp depreciation of the British Pound following the interest rate decision continues to highlight how the currency has become increasingly reactive to monetary policy speculations.
From a technical standpoint, the GBPUSD bulls have been living on borrowed time and using Dollar weakness as a foundation to elevate prices. With Sterling bears inspired by BoE doves, the GBPUSD is likely to trade towards 1.3000 once 1.3100 is conquered.
Gold buoyed above $1260
Gold found support in the form of Dollar weakness this week while political uncertainty in Washington also boosted its safe haven allure. Although the yellow metal initially edged lower during early trading on Thursday, buyers still remained in control on the daily charts above $1260 support level. Market players will be paying very close attention towards the NFP report on Friday which is likely to impact US rate hike expectations consequently affecting Gold’s direction. A disappointing NFP for July that falls below market expectations should instill bulls with enough inspiration to send prices towards $1270. From a technical standpoint, the yellow metal remains bullish on the daily charts and a breakout above $1270 should encourage a further appreciation towards $1280.
Currency spotlight – EURUSD
The encouraging macro-fundamentals for the European economy and current relief from political risk in Europe continue to heavily support the Euro. A vulnerable Dollar has also played a leading role in the EURUSD’s resurgence with prices trading above a two year high at 1.1850 as of writing. From a technical standpoint, the pair is heavily bullish on the daily charts as there have been consistently higher highs and higher lows. Further Dollar weakness is likely to elevate the EURUSD towards 1.1900.
Commodity spotlight - WTI Crude
The bearish cocktail of rising U.S inventories and increasing OPEC production exposed WTI Crude to heavy losses in the middle of the week with bears sending the commodity towards $48.35 on Wednesday. It is remarkable how production from OPEC has hit a record 2017 high in July despite the cartels pledge to tackle the supply glut along with other non-OPEC producers. With the oversupply concerns still a major theme that continues to fuel the bearish sentiment towards oil, further downside may be on the cards. From a technical standpoint, WTI Crude is at risk of depreciating further if prices break below the $48.50 level.
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