GBP/USD – Pound in Holding Pattern Ahead of PMIs reportsThe pound has enjoyed a good week, with gains of close to one percent. There are two more hurdles for the currency before the weekend, with the release of manufacturing and services PMIs (release time – 9:30 GMT).
GBP/USD is steady on Friday. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.3126, up 0.05% on the day. GBP/USD has gained close to 1.0% this week and will likely post its best one-week gain since early December. In economic news, there are no British releases. Investors will be keeping a close eye on the manufacturing and services initial PMIs, which will be published on Friday.
BoE Keeping Eye on PMIs
The week wraps up with initial January estimates for manufacturing and services PMIs. These releases are usually earlier in the week, but were shifted to the holidays. The manufacturing PMI is expected to improve to 48.8, compared to 47.5 in the final December PMI. This points to contraction in the manufacturing sector. The forecast for the services PMI is better, as the initial estimate stands at 51.1 pts. The final PMI in December came in at 50.0. The Bank of England will be carefully monitoring these key releases. Bank policymakers have been hinting at a rate cut when they meet next week and if the PMI releases don’t beat the estimates, a rate cut will be more likely.
GBP/USD is currently range-bound. There is immediate support at the round number of 1.3100, followed by a support line at 1.3050. The 50-EMA line is close by at 1.3020. On the upside, we find weak resistance at 1.3150. This is followed by resistance at 1.3200.
Pacific Currencies – Daily Summary
USD/CNY has paused on Friday, after posting gains on Thursday. Currently, the pair is trading at 6.9304, down 0.09% on the day. In the Asian session, USD/CNY tested the 6.94 line, for the first time in two weeks. There are no Chinese releases on the calendar.
AUD/USD – Aussie Dips to 5-Week Low
AUD/USD showed some upward movement on Thursday, but was unable to consolidate these gains. The pair is currently trading at 0.6842, down 0.08% on the day. Manufacturing PMI dipped to 49.1, as the index slowed for a third straight month. It was a similar story for Services PMI, which dropped to 48.9 pts. Both readings point to contraction in the services and manufacturing sectors.
NZD/USD is trading sideways in Friday trade. Currently, the pair is trading at 0.6617, down 0.03% on the day. NZD/USD is almost unchanged over the week, after three successive weekly losses. In economic news, CPI for the fourth quarter, slowed to 0.5%, down from 0.7% in Q2. However, investors did not seem to mind, as this figure beat the forecast of 0.4%.