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GBP/USD: Cable Attempts to Carve Out Support Ahead of BoE

GBP/USD: Cable Attempts to Carve Out Support Ahead of BoE

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Talking Points:

- It’s been a stark change-of-pace over the past two months as a previously strong bullish up-trend has turned around to erase more than 1,100 pips since mid-April. GBP/USD has been hit by a storm of slowing inflation, disappointing GDP, a dovish Bank of England and continually downbeat headlines around the ongoing Brexit discussions.

- This week brings a Bank of England rate decision followed by the Mansion House speech from BoE Governor, Mr. Mark Carney.

- Quarterly Forecasts have just been updated, and the Q2 forecast for GBP/USD is available from the DailyFX Trading Guides Page. If you’re looking to improve your trading approach, check out Traits of Successful Traders. And if you’re looking for an introductory primer to the Forex market, check out our New to FX Guide.

Want to see how retail traders are currently trading GBP/USD? Click here for GBP/USD Sentiment.

A Stark Change-of-Pace the Past Two Months

It’s been a rough two months for the British Pound, and later this week brings a Bank of England rate decision that could prolong the pain or, potentially, start to change-the-pace. While there are few expectations for any actual changes at that meeting, the big question is whether the bank starts to lay the groundwork for a possible rate hike in August. After that rate decision, BoE Governor Mark Carney is due for his annual Mansion House speech, and this may actually turn out to be a more proactive driver for the Pound as the speech will be widely-watched for clues or hints around Mr. Carney’s expectations for the UK economy.

DailyFX Economic Calendar – High-Impact Items for GBP Week of June 18, 2018

DailyFX Economic Calendar GBP High-Impact Events Week of June 18, 2018

Chart prepared by James Stanley

Also of interest but not on the economic calendar is the continued development around Brexit. At this point, a battle continues within Parliament over what should happen if either a) no deal is reached with the EU or b) Parliament doesn’t approve the deal brokered between the two. This can continue to constrain price action in the British Pound as its yet another potential risk to the currency.

GBP/USD Digs in to Support

Just a couple of months ago the horizon appeared to be much brighter for the British Pound. We had a legitimate chance of getting a rate hike at the May ‘Super Thursday’ rate decision, and this even had the potential to turn into something more as the BoE may have been sitting at the forefront of a rising rate cycle. This was driven in large party by inflation, and that was largely in response to the drubbing that the currency took around the Brexit referendum.

But as we traded deeper into April, that backdrop for a rate hike deteriorated. Inflation continued to disappoint, and GDP even came-in below expectations. By the time we got to the actual rate decision, the door had been opened for an even more dovish BoE, and when the bank held rates while sharing a rather dovish forward-outlook, GBP sank down to the key support area round 1.3500.

GBP/USD Daily Chart: Past Two Months Represent Stark Change-of-Pace for Cable Price Action

gbpusd gbp/usd daily chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

It was a week after that rate decision that Brexit dynamics began to come back into the equation, and when Scottish PM, Nicola Sturgeon, announced that Scotland may embark on another independence referendum, GBP/USD broke-below support and ran down to a fresh six-month low at 1.3203.

Prices spent the next two weeks moving-higher within a bullish channel; and when that channel was combined with the prior bearish trend, this took on the shape of a bear flag formation. That formation began to fill-in last week as USD strength started to show up, and prices have made another run down to the 1.32’s.

GBP/USD Eight-Hour Chart: Bearish Break Below Bullish Channel, Bears Get Shy at the Low

gbpusd gbp/usd eight hour chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

At this stage, GBP/USD has shown little willingness to test below 1.3200; and while this doesn’t preclude the possibility of such, it does show how bears are likely going to need a bit more information before staging their plays. If we do get a downside break below the 1.3200 level, the door opens for a test of 1.3117, which is the 38.2% retracement of the ‘Brexit move’ in the pair, followed by a test of the 1.3000 psychological level.

GBP/USD Daily Chart: Bearish Potential Down to 1.3000

gbpusd gbp/usd daily chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley

Retail Sentiment Stretched to the Long Side

Supporting the bearish side of GBP/USD is the fact that retail traders are heavy net-long in the pair, currently showing a read of +2.82-to-1. This means that 73.8% of retail traders in GBP/USD are currently holding a net long position, and with this being a contrarian indicator, this keeps the door open for continued downside. This indicator swung to net-long on April 20th, just after the pair had started to turn, and retail traders have continued to buy as prices have continued to decline.

Click here for an updated, real-time look at GBP/USD Sentiment.

Retail Traders Remain Heavy Net-Long in GBP/USD

GBP/USD IG Client Sentiment As of June 18, 2018

Chart prepared by James Stanley

To read more:

Are you looking for longer-term analysis on the U.S. Dollar? Our DailyFX Forecasts for Q1 have a section for each major currency, and we also offer a plethora of resources on USD-pairs such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD. Traders can also stay up with near-term positioning via our IG Client Sentiment Indicator.

Forex Trading Resources

DailyFX offers a plethora of tools, indicators and resources to help traders. For those looking for trading ideas, our IG Client Sentiment shows the positioning of retail traders with actual live trades and positions. Our trading guides bring our DailyFX Quarterly Forecasts and our Top Trading Opportunities; and our real-time news feed has intra-day interactions from the DailyFX team. And if you’re looking for real-time analysis, our DailyFX Webinars offer numerous sessions each week in which you can see how and why we’re looking at what we’re looking at.

If you’re looking for educational information, our New to FX guide is there to help new(er) traders while our Traits of Successful Traders research is built to help sharpen the skill set by focusing on risk and trade management.

--- Written by James Stanley, Strategist for

Contact and follow James on Twitter: @JStanleyFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.