Forex - GBP/USD weekly outlook: April 22 - 26


Shutterstock photo - The pound was lower against the dollar on Friday after Fitch's ratings agency downgraded the U.K.'s triple-A rating, citing the deteriorating economic outlook.

GBP/USD hit session lows of 1.5225 before settling at 1.5230, 0.32% lower for the day and down 0.43% for the week.

Cable is likely to find support at 1.5098, the low of April 2 and resistance at 1.5366, Friday's high.

Fitch downgraded the U.K.'s triple-A rating by one notch to AA+ with a stable outlook on Friday blaming "the weak growth performance of the UK economy in recent years", which it says are partly due to "headwinds of private and public sector deleveraging and the euro zone crisis".

The downgrade came after the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday that the British government should scale back its austerity program, given current weakness in the U.K. economy.

Official data on Wednesday showed that the U.K. unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 7.9% last month, from 7.8% in February.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's minutes of the Bank of England's April meeting showed that policymakers remained split over monetary policy. Outgoing Governor Mervyn King and two other policymakers backed more easing, while six voted against.

Elsewhere, sterling rallied more than 1% against the yen on Friday, with GBP/JPY advancing 1.06% to settle at 151.52.

The yen weakened across the board after finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations indicated that they support Japan's efforts to spur growth through aggressive monetary easing policies.

In the week ahead, investors will be awaiting Friday's U.S. data on first quarter growth amid lingering concerns that the U.S. economic recovery is losing momentum. Markets will also be closely watching Thursday's U.K. data on first quarter growth.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, April 22

The U.S. is to release private sector data on existing home sales, a leading indicator of demand in the housing market.

Tuesday, April 23

The U.K. is to publish official data on public sector net borrowing and private sector data on industrial order expectations.

The U.S. is to produce official data on new home sales as well as preliminary data on manufacturing activity.

Wednesday, April 24

The U.K. is to release private sector data on retail sales, an important indicator of economic health.

The U.S. is to release government data on durable goods orders, a leading indicator of production, as well as data on crude oil inventories.

Thursday, April 25

The U.K. is to release preliminary data on first quarter gross domestic product, the broadest indicator of economic activity and the leading measure of the economy's health.

The U.S. is to produce the weekly government report on initial jobless claims later in the trading day.

Friday, April 26

The U.S. is to round up the week with preliminary data on first quarter growth, the broadest indicator of economic activity and the leading measure of the economy's health.

The U.S. is also to release revised data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment and inflation expectations. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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