The pound is steady in Monday trading, as the pair trades in the mid-1.66 line in the North American session. In economic news, the Empire State Manufacturing Index missed the estimate but Industrial Production posted a strong gain. In the UK, Rightmove HPI posted its third straight gain. The crisis in the Ukraine continues to dominate the news, and has dampened market sentiment.
It’s being described as the worst crisis on the European continent since the end of the Cold War. On Sunday, Crimea, a southern region of the Ukraine, voted overwhelmingly to leave the Ukraine and join Russia. The results brought joy to most residents of Crimea, who are of Russian ethnicity. However, the vote has been sharply denounced by the EU and the US as illegal, and both have warned Russia against annexing the region. Western nations are expected to impose stiff sanctions if Russia does not step back and respect Ukrainian sovereignty, but Moscow has not given any indication of backing down. The standoff between East and West is likely to get worse, and the turmoil could well affect the markets this week.
In the US, concern about the job market eased after a solid Unemployment Claims release late last week. The key indicator dropped to 315 thousand, down from 323 thousand the previous week. This beat the estimate of 334 thousand. This was the indicator’s lowest level in three months. Core Retail Sales and Retail Sales both posted gains of 0.3%, which were within market expectations. These indicators are the primary gauges of consumer spending, and although the gains were modest, they mark an improvement over the January readings.
GBP/USD for Monday, March 17, 2014
GBP/USD March 17 at 14:45 GMT
GBP/USD 1.6662 H: 1.6666 L: 1.6605
- GBP/USD has edged higher in Monday trade.
- 1.6549 continues to provide strong support. This is followed by support at 1.6416.
- 1.6705 is the first line of resistance. Next, there is resistance at 1.6765.
- Current range: 1.6549 to 1.6705.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.6549, 1.6416, 1.6329 and 1.6236
- Above: 1.6705, 1.6765, 1.6896, 1.6964 and 1.7087
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
GBP/USD ratio is posting gains in long positions. This is consistent with what we are seeing from the pair, as the pound has edged higher. A large majority of the open positions in the GBP/USD ratio are short, indicative of a trader bias towards the dollar posting gains against the pound.
GBP/USD is showing little movement on Monday. The pair has edged higher early in the North American session.
- 9:30 British BOE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe Speaks.
- 12:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 6.6 points. Actual 5.6 points.
- 13:15 US Capacity Utilization Rate. Estimate 78.7%. Actual 78.8%.
- 13:15 US Industrial Production. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.6%.
- 14:00 US NAHB Housing Market. Estimate 50 points.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT
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