GBP/USD bears eye 1.2450 retest as US Dollar eases amid debt ceiling hopes, focus on BoE’s Bailey


  • GBP/USD stays pressured after retreating from weekly top.
  • Unimpressive UK employment figures contrast with positive surprise from US data to prod Pound Sterling buyers.
  • BoE, Fed officials cite inflation, employment numbers to defend hawkish plays.
  • Easing fears of US default joins hopes of witnessing upbeat comments from BoE Governor Bailey to challenge Cable bears.

GBP/USD remains depressed around 1.2485 amid early Wednesday, after reversing from a weekly high the previous day. In doing so, the Pound Sterling justifies the market’s indecision amid a pause in the US Dollar’s run-up and cautious mood ahead of the Bank of England (BoE) Governor Andrew Bailey’s speech.

That said, the US Dollar Index (DXY) retreats to 102.57 following Tuesday’s upbeat performance as market sentiment improved on hopes of no US default. That said, US President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy’s meeting ended within an hour and raised expectations of positive development as congressional leaders, said, “It is possible to get a deal by the end of the week.”

While portraying the optimism, Reuters quotes the S&P Global Market Intelligence data while marking a fall in the one-year US Credit Default Swap (CDS) spreads from 164 basis points (bps) to 155 bps. “Spreads on five-year CDS decreased to 69 basis points from 72 bps on Monday,” reported the news. On the same line, the US Treasury bond yields grind higher after posting a notable rally whereas S&P500 Futures print mild gains to defy Wall Street’s downbeat performance.

It’s worth noting, however, that a contrasting play between the US and the UK data seems to weigh on the Cable prices of late.

On Tuesday, UK Claimant Count Change jumped by 46.7K in April versus -10.8K expected and 26.5K prior while ILO Unemployment Rate for three months to March rose to 3.9% against expectations of witnessing no change figure of 3.8%. Further, the Average Earnings excluding bonus and including for three months to March came in unimpressive despite crossing the forecasts.

On the other hand, US Retail Sales improved to 0.4% MoM for April, from -0.7% prior (revised) versus 0.7% expected. More importantly, Retail Sales Control Group for the said month crossed market forecasts of 0.0% and -0.4% prior with 0.7% actual figure whereas Retail Sales ex Autos matches 0.4% MoM estimations for April¸ surpassing the -0.5% prior. Further, the US Industrial Production MoM rose to 0.5% for April versus expectations of printing a 0.0% figure.

It should be noted that BoE Chief Economist Huw Pill recently followed the footsteps of BoE Governor Bailey while trying to push back the dovish hopes after the “Old Lady”, as the UK central bank is informally known, announced a dovish hike in the last week.

Moving on, BoE’s Bailey needs to repeat the hawkish comments and should stop citing easy inflation to recall the Pound Sterling buyers. Even so, the second-tier US housing data and risk catalysts will be the key to determining near-term GBP/USD moves.

Technical analysis

GBP/USD grinds between a three-week-old ascending support line and the 10-DMA, respectively near 1.2450 and 1.2555, as downside bias gains momentum.


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