GBP / USD consolidates near one-month highs in mid-1.2600s in holiday thinned trade, eyes upcoming risk events

  • GBP / USD is consolidating in fairly quiet trade close to one-month highs in the mid-1.2600s.
  • Volumes this week are set to be dampened by US (Monday) and UK (Thursday & Friday) public holidays.
  • But a barrage of upcoming US data means the prospect for volatility remains elevated.

Trading conditions are quiet on Monday amid a lack of US market participants given market closures there for the Memorial Day public holiday. GBP / USD is nonetheless trading close to the one-month highs it printed last Friday in the 1.2670 area at just below 1.2650 amid The pair is on course to have rallied around 4.0% from mid-month lows in the mid-1.2100s, a move which analysts are mostly putting down to the weakening of the US dollar, which has continued this Monday.

That means the pair is on course to post a monthly gain of about 0.6%, it’s first monthly gain of the year. Still, analysts remain cautious on the prospects for a more meaningful rebound in the pair given the divergence between the outlooks for the US and UK economies and associated divergence between the outlook for Fed and BoE policy. Both remain in the US dollar’s favorite, analysts argue, suggesting that a return to recent lows is perhaps more likely that a move back above the 1.30 mark.

Indeed, data released by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last Friday showed that, as of last Tuesday, investors continued to add to net sterling short positions, despite the rebound from mid-month lows. That suggests a continued appetite to sell the rally.

GBP / USD trading volumes are expected to pick up on Tuesday with the return of US market participants, but will likely then die down again from Thursday into the end of the week, given the closure of UK markets for a long public holiday weekend for the British Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. That doesn’t mean there won’t be volatility. Indeed, traders are bracing for a barrage of US data set to be released this week.

May Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey data is out on Tuesday, May ISM Manufacturing PMI survey data and April JOLTs Job Openings data is out on Wednesday, May ADP Private Employment Change data is out on Thursday, while the official May labor market report is out on Friday. After its prolonged recent decline, USD bulls may be looking for an opportunity to reload on long positions

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