Forex - GBP/USD weekly outlook: February 11 - 15

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Investing.com - The pound extended gains against the dollar and the euro into a second day on Friday after incoming Bank of England Governor Mark Carney downplayed the possibility of a major change to current monetary policy.

GBP/USD hit 1.5843 on Friday, the pair's highest since February 1; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.5801, 0.54% higher for the day and up 0.26% for the week.

Cable is likely to find support at 1.5703, Friday's low and resistance at 1.5877, the high of January 1.

In testimony before the U.K.'s Treasury Select Committee on Thursday, Carney called for a review of the Bank's inflation mandate and said Britain might benefit from a commitment to keep interest rates low for a fixed period as well as a more "flexible" inflation targeting regime that tolerated inflation remaining higher for longer.

He added that 'considerable monetary stimulus' will still be needed when he joins the bank in June.

The BoE kept interest rates on hold at 0.5% and announced no changes to its easing program on Thursday. In an unusual move, the bank released a rate statement in which it said that it was appropriate to look beyond the fact that inflation is currently running above target, as removing stimulus would risk derailing the recovery.

EUR/GBP hit a session low of 0.8447 on Friday before settling back at 0.8462, down 0.76% for the day and down 1.32% for the week.

In the U.S., government data on Friday showed that the trade deficit narrowed to the smallest since January 2010 in December as exports rose sharply.

The upbeat data fuelled hopes that figures for fourth quarter growth may be revised upwards after preliminary data last week showed that the economy contracted by an annualized 0.1% in the three months to December.

The Commerce Department said trade deficit narrowed to USD38.5 billion from a USD48.6 billion deficit in November, compared to expectations for a deficit of USD46.0 billion.

In the week ahead, investors will be anticipating U.S. data on retail sales and consumer sentiment, while U.K. data on consumer prices will be in focus.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Monday as there are no relevant events on this day.

Tuesday, February 12

The U.K. is to publish official data on consumer prices, which account for a majority of overall inflation as well as industry data on house prices.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to publish data on the federal budget balance.

Wednesday, February 13

In the U.K., the BoE is to release its quarterly inflation report, which includes forecast for inflation over the following two years. The release is to be followed by a press conference with BoE Governor Mervyn King.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to publish official data on retail sales, the government measure of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity. The U.S. is also to publish data on import prices, business inventories and crude oil stockpiles.

Thursday, February 14

The U.S. is to release the weekly government report on initial jobless claims.

Friday, February 15

The U.K. is to release government data on retail sales.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on manufacturing activity in New York state and industrial production, while the University of Michigan is to release preliminary data on consumer sentiment and inflation expectations.



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