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Pound getting ready to pop

We’re being driven by headline news again today, plus the market will be cautious ahead of the many central banker speeches that are happening throughout the day. The best trade to have been in would be the AUDJPY but that boat has left already, we need to see some sort of breather or decent pullback before getting involved.

Market Brief

Today’s central bank speakers come in the form of RBA Governor Lowe who spoke during the overnight session, followed by ECB President Lagarde at 1.15 pm GMT. With FOMC members Williams and Mester bookending speeches from SNB Chairman Jordan and MPC member Cunliffe from the Bank of England this afternoon.

The forex heatmap has started the London session with a weakening yen and flows into the commodity pairs. Though trying to catch an AUDJPY long right now may be akin to chasing price as the pair is up 4.18% for the week and over 8% for the month. Patience and buying the dips may be a better strategy.

The UK’s public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks was £13.1 billion in February 2022, the second-highest February borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, and £12.8 billion more than in February 2020, before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The UK economy is starting to pick up and this is measured by central government receipts which were £71.9 billion in February 2022, £5.8 billion more than in February 2021, of which tax receipts were £53.7 billion, an increase of £4.2 billion. The more people work and the higher the wages the more tax can be collected. The extra funding required by government coronavirus support schemes, combined with reduced cash receipts and a fall in GDP over the past couple of years, have all helped to push public sector net debt at the end of February 2022 to 94.7% of GDP, a level last seen in the early 1960s.

The Bank of England would like to cool the wage rise increases and cool inflation, but they have no control over supply chain disruptions and oil prices.

The GBPUSD has dropped since the first rate hike last December and that is in part due to the flows into the US dollar as a safe-haven currency but also as the market priced in the first US rate hike in several years. Today I am watching to see if the GBPUSD can continue to move higher, counter-trend, with a break above the 1.32110 as the first signal that the bulls could be targeting as high as 1.33167.

The RSI and MACD have moved from selling pressure and being oversold to bullish momentum, and the daily EMAs are currently acting as both targets and dynamic resistance.

The Ukrainian president may try and negotiate a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops based on not joining NATO in the future. There are cracks forming in the posture of both sides as some sort of end game needs to materialise that is brokered by diplomatic means. We’re in a proxy WW3 with the West supporting Ukraine with supplies, and heavily sanctioning Russia, but no one really wants to go full-on declared WW3. This means this could become a very long-drawn-out affair with Russia fighting an insurgency war rather than seeing Ukraine giving up their land in the face of a massive military show of force from the Russians.

Brent continues to trade above $100 per barrel and didn’t get as high as the $119.57 level I was looking for but did find resistance at $115 which is halfway back between the recent significant low and high prints. If this becomes a lower high and we see a break of $95 for a lower low, the trend lower could be down to $80 and the daily 200 EMA.

Gold is signalling that is it no longer required as a hedge against the fear of increasing war, despite the recent headlines saying central banks are buying up precious metals. If there was increasing demand, we would be seeing steadily rising prices. As it is the price action is compressing under $1950 /oz and looks more likely to test lower back towards $1800 /oz. Both the decline in Brent and gold would accelerate if we were to see the US dollar accelerate towards $100 and that may come on traders positioning for a couple of 50bps rate hikes over the next couple of FOMC meetings.


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