- GBP/USD stages a goodish recovery from over a three-week low amid a modest USD pullback.
- Hawkish Fed expectations and the US debt ceiling optimism should help limit the USD losses.
- Traders also seem reluctant to place fresh directional bets ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s speech.
The GBP/USD pair shows some resilience below the 50-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) on Friday and stages a solid bounce from sub-1.2400 levels, or over a three-week low touched the previous day. The pair, however, retreats a few pips from the daily high touched during the early North American session and currently trades around the 1.2435-1.2445 region, up nearly 0.25% for the day.
The risk-on impulse – as depicted by a generally positive tone around the equity markets – prompts some profit-taking around the safe-haven US Dollar (USD), especially after the recent runup to a nearly two-month high. This, in turn, is seen as a key factor lending support to the GBP/USD pair, though the upside potential seems limited. Firming expectations that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will keep interest rates higher for longer, along with the latest optimism over the US debt ceiling deal, continue to push the US Treasury bond yields higher and favour the USD bulls.
In fact, a slew of Fed officials this week expressed concerns that inflation in the United States (US) was not cooling fast enough and forced investors to scale back their bets for interest rate cuts later this year. In fact, the current market pricing indicates a small chance of another 25 bps lift-off at the next FOMC policy meeting in June. Furthermore, top US congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy said on Thursday that negotiations are at a better place than last week and expected a bill to raise the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling on the House floor next week.
The aforementioned fundamental backdrop might hold back traders from placing aggressive bearish bets around the Greenback. Apart from this, expectations that fewer rate increases by the Bank of England (BoE) will be needed in the coming months to bring down inflation further contributes to capping gains for the GBP/USD pair. Investors also prefer to wait on the sidelines ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech, which might provide clues about future rate hikes. This will drive the near-term USD price dynamics and provide a fresh directional impetus to the major.
Technical levels to watch
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