The British pound posted considerable gains on Thursday, as GBP/USD reacted positively to a strong housing release. The RICS House Price Balance indicated a rise in house prices for the first since July 2018. This propelled the pound above the key 1.30 level for the first time this week.
Ahead – U.S. Retail Sales
With no British events on the schedule, the spotlight will be on releases out of the U.S. We’ll get a look at January retail sales at 13:30 GMT. The indicator is expected to remain unchanged at 0.3%. However, core retail sales, which posted a strong gain of 0.7% in December, is forecast to fall to 0.3%. Any unexpected readings could shake up the sleepy British pound.
There was a significant development on Wednesday, as GBP/USD broke above the key 1.3000 for the first time this week. On the downside, the 50-day EMA line is situated at 1.3009, followed by 1.3000, which has switched to a support role. Below, there is support at 1.2902. Lower, there is support at 1.2850, with the 200-day EMA is situated at 1.2845. On the upside, there is resistance at 1.3070, followed by resistance at 1.3170.
Pacific Currencies – Daily Summary
USD/CNY has recorded small gains on Friday. Currently, the pair is trading at 6.9842, up 0.13% on the day. Investors are waiting for the release of New Loans, which could be published as early as Saturday. The indicator is expected to improve sharply to 3100 billion yuan in January, compared to 1140 billion in the previous release.
AUD/USD is trading at 0.6725, up 0.09% on the day. There are no Australian events on Friday, but investors will be keeping an eye on U.S. retail sales, which will be released at 13:00 GMT. An unexpected reading could shake up the Australian dollar.
NZD/USD is flat in Friday trade. Currently, the pair is trading at 0.6434, down 0.05% on the day. There are no New Zealand events on the calendar. NZD/USD is in positive territory this week. This is significant, as the pair has not had a winning week since late December. Similar to the Aussie, the New Zealand dollar could show stronger movement later in the day, if there is an unexpected reading from U.S. retail sales.