- A late USD rebound prompted some profit-taking around GBP/USD on Thursday.
- The corrective pullback extended for the second consecutive session on Friday.
- Investors look forward a raft of UK macro releases for some meaningful impetus.
The GBP/USD pair failed to capitalize on its intraday positive move on Thursday and witnessed a modest pullback from the vicinity of 34-month tops, touched in the previous session. The US dollar was undermined by Wednesday's weaker US consumer inflation figures and dovish comments by the Fed Chair Jerome Powell. This, in turn, was seen as a key factor that extended some support to the major. The USD remained on the back foot following the release of the US Initial Weekly Jobless Claims, which further dented expectations for a relatively faster US economic recovery from the pandemic.
That said, a rebound in the US Treasury bond yields helped revive the USD demand and prompted some selling around the pair. The US bond market continued to react to the likelihood for the passage of the US President Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 fiscal stimulus package. The retracement slide extended for the second consecutive session on Friday and dragged the pair back below the 1.3800 mark during the Asian session. A cautious mood around the equity markets benefitted the greenback's relative safe-haven status and was seen exerting pressure on the major.
Market participants now look forward to a busy UK economic docket, highlighting the release of the preliminary estimate of Q4 GDP. This will be accompanied by Industrial productions figures and Trade Balance data for December. The market reaction to disappointing readings is likely to be muted amid growing optimism that the UK's lead in terms of the coronavirus vaccination drive could facilitate an earlier easing of lockdown restrictions. Apart to this, diminishing odds for any BoE interest rate cut could further underpin the British pound and help limit the downside for the major.
Meanwhile, the US economic docket highlights the only release of the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February. This, along with the broader market risk sentiment and the US bond yields, will influence the USD price dynamics and allow traders to grab some short-term opportunities on the last day of the week.
Technical levels to watch
From a technical perspective, the pair has now slipped below the 23.6% Fibonacci level of the post-BoE strong move up and could extend the corrective slide. That said, any subsequent fall might still be seen as a buying opportunity and find decent support near an important resistance breakpoint, around the 1.3760-55 congestion zone. This coincides with the 38.2% Fibo. level, which should act as a key pivotal point for short-term traders.
Sustained weakness below could lead to some long-unwinding trade and accelerate the slide towards 50% Fibo. level, around the 1.3715-10 region. This is followed by the 61.8% Fibo. level support, around the 1.3685-80 zone, which if broken decisively should pave the way for a further near-term depreciating move.
On the flip side, immediate resistance is pegged near the 1.3830 level ahead of mid-1.3800s. Some follow-through buying will be seen as a fresh trigger for bullish traders and push the pair towards the 1.3900 mark. The momentum could further get extended towards the 1.3940-50 intermediate hurdle before the pair eventually aims to reclaim the key 1.4000 psychological mark for the first time since April 2018.
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