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Forex Market Analysis: GBP/USD Focus & Market Trends 16 Jan 2024

January 16, 2024

TOP FX NEWS: 16 Jan 2024

CURRENCIES:

GBP/USD Analysis and Charts:

  • Falling UK wages provide optimism for the Bank of England.
  • Cable faces pressure due to USD strength.

Key Points from ONS Labour Market Overview:

  • UK wage growth decelerated in November.
  • Unemployment rate remained unchanged.
  • Despite slowing wage growth, it remains high enough to deter an immediate UK rate cut.

Latest UK Implied Rates:

  • First UK Base Rate cut anticipated in May.
  • Predictions indicate a total of 131 basis points in cuts for the upcoming year.

US Dollar Strength:

  • The US dollar shows strength after a long weekend.
  • US dollar index reaches a 10-day high.
  • Factors include slightly higher US Treasury bond yields and geopolitical concerns in Ukraine and the Red Sea.

GBP/USD Technical Levels:

  • Cable approaches a support level at 1.2667.
  • Potential breakdown may target the 38.2% Fibonacci level at 1.2628, prior lows cluster around 1.2610/15, and the 50-day simple moving average at 1.2608.
  • Upside movement may face resistance at 1.2742, with further hurdles near recent highs up to just under 1.2800.

STOCK MARKET:

Market Overview:

  • European stocks and US futures decline.
  • Dollar reaches a one-month high, impacting various market sectors.
  • Bonds experience a fall as central bank officials resist aggressive interest rate cut expectations.

Stock and Futures Movement:

  • Stoxx Europe 600 index heads for a five-week low, led by declines in retailers and banks.
  • S&P 500 futures slip by 0.6%, Nasdaq 100 contracts drop by up to 0.9%.
  • Treasuries decline across the curve, with ten-year yields and the 2-year debt rising about six basis points each.

Central Bank Comments and Rate Cut Expectations:

  • European Central Bank Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau emphasizes it’s too early to declare victory on inflation.
  • Traders await Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller’s speech for cues on the timing of a Fed rate cut, with a two-in-three chance seen in March.
  • ECB Governing Council member Robert Holzmann and President Christine Lagarde express uncertainty about assured rate cuts, citing lingering inflation and geopolitical risks.

UK Economic Data:

  • Economic data in the UK supports the case for Bank of England rate cuts.
  • Wage growth cools at one of the fastest paces on record, leading to a weakening of the pound against the dollar.

Corporate Results:

  • Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expected to report continued lull in investment banking activity.
  • High borrowing costs, geopolitical tensions, and recessionary risks dampen deal-making.

Global Economic Outlook and Oil Prices:

  • Oil prices remain steady amidst Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, contributing to tensions in the Middle East.
  • Global benchmark Brent holds around $78 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate trades below $73.

MSCI Asia Pacific Index:

  • Slides 1.3%, halting a three-day rally.
  • Hang Seng Index faces the worst day in about two months due to property-sector funding plans impacting bank shares.

Upcoming Market Events:

  • Key events this week include Germany ZEW survey expectations, US Empire Manufacturing, and earnings reports from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.
  • Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller is scheduled to speak on Tuesday.

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