Pound Dollar Chart 23 March 2010

Yesterday’s attempt to rally by cable was promptly capped by the 14 day moving average with the pair only moving marginally higher during the day and closing as a narrow spread up candle just above the psychological USD1.50 price handle.  The longer term outlook for the pounds to USD remains firmly bearish, particularly following last week’s short squeeze which was promptly snuffed in dramatic fashion on Friday with a wide spread down bar.  From a technical perspective the key area remains at USD1.48 where the current sideways consolidation has found some support, however, once this is breached then we can expect to see a much deeper move, initially to re-test support in the USD1.40 area and should this fail to hold then we could even see a re-test of the lows at USD1.36 in the longer term.  Tomorrow, of course, sees Alistair Darling present his last budget prior to the election and the main question for currency traders is whether the market has already priced in this event.  Should the Chancellor fail to reassure the markets in an attempt to woo wavering voters then his punishment will be swift and brutal and we may see a repeat of Friday’s price action as a result.  Whatever happens there should be plenty of trading opportunities.

Today’s fundamental news on the economic calendar started in the UK with the CPI data which came in at 3%, marginally below forecast at 3.1% with the equivalent core CPI also falling short of the forecast coming in at 2.9% against a forecast of 3%.  The RPI (retail price index) came in on target at 3.7%, however there was further bad news for the pound as the CBI realized sales data fell well short of expectations at 13 against a forecast of 18 – all pointing to a stagnating economy.  The final item of news for the UK was the BBA mortgage approvals which came in at 35.3 against a forecast of 34.3.  Meanwhile in the US we have one important item of news which is existing home sales forecast at 5.01m, marginally lower than last month’s 5.05m and should the number be better than expected then this should be dollar positive.

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Cable News :

Unexpected fall in UK inflation