GBP/USD stalls at 1.3838, retreat to 1.3800 amid mixed market sentiment

  • GBP/USD stalls at 1.3838 for the third day in a row.
  • Investors bets increase on a Bank of England hike rate by November’s meeting.
  • US Initial Jobless Claims drop for the second-consecutive week, at 290K.

The British pound edges lower during the New York session, stalls around 1.3811, loses 0.09%, trading at 1.3817 at the time of writing. 

The market sentiment is a mixed bag, depicted by falling European equity indices. At the same time, all US stock indices post moderated gains, except for the Dow Jones Industrial that is losing 0.24%, due to worse than expected IBM earnings. Furthermore, the oil rally stalled, while Evergrande’s worries surround the financial markets once more, as its shares plunged 11.6% after a $2.6 billion stake sell fell through, and the risk of a possible spillover remains. Safe-haven currencies like the US Dollar and the Japanese yen rose against most G8 currencies. 

The US Dollar Index that tracks the greenback’s performance against a basket of six peers is up 0.02% at 93.62, while the US 10-year Treasury yield rallies four basis points, up to 1.673%, almost ten basis points short of 2021 high.

GBP/USD found a wall at 1.3838 for the third time in the week

The British pound stalled once again at the 1.3838 resistance for the third consecutive day. Investors bets on a Bank of England hiking rates had increased since October 9. Two policymakers expressed concerns about elevated prices, signaling that the BoE will step up and act to curb inflationary pressures.

However, despite what the UK’s central bank has been vocal about inflation, there are some variables that the BoE has to account for. COVID-19 cases are increasing, and with the furlough program coming to an end, some bank analysts and strategists are starting to become more neutral on the British pound, according to Bloomberg.

Moreover, the North Ireland protocol discussions between the UK and the Eurozone threaten to begin a trade war, severely hurting the UK economy.

On the macroeconomic front, in the UK, the Public Sector Net Borrowing for September, at £21.014B, was lower than the £27.152B expected

On the US economic docket, the Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending on October 16 fell to 290K, lower than the 300K foreseen by analysts, showing the labor market is starting to accelerate the pace moderately. Further, the 4-week moving average decreased by 122K, to sit at 2,481K in the week ending on October 9.

That said, the GBP/USD main driver would be the Bank of England decision, but also the Fed’s bond taper announcement and the market sentiment could hold back investors to open new positions in the pair.