• GBP/USD gains some positive traction and moves away from a multi-month low set on Thursday.
  • A combination of factors prompts some USD profit-taking, which, in turn, lends support to the pair.
  • Diminishing odds for more aggressive BoE rate hikes might keep a lid on further gains for the GBP.

The GBP/USD pair shows some resilience below the 1.2400 mark for the second successive day and attracts some buyers during the Asian session on Friday. Spot prices have now reversed a part of the previous day’s fall to over a three-month low and currently trade around the 1.2420-1.2425 region, up 0.10% for the day, though any meaningful recovery still seems elusive.

The US Dollar (USD) bulls opt to take some profits off the table after the recent rally to the highest level since March 9, which, in turn, is seen as a key factor lending some support to the GBP/USD pair. Against the backdrop of the optimism over more stimulus from China, the mostly upbeat Chinese macro data boosts investors’ confidence and prompts some selling around the safe-haven Greenback. Apart from this, a modest downtick in the US Treasury bond yields further undermines the buck, though expectations that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will stick to its hawkish stance should limit any meaningful downside.

The US central bank is widely expected to pause its rate-hiking cycle at its meeting next week. Traders, however, are still pricing in the possibility of one more 25 bps lift-off in November or December. The bets were affirmed by better-than-expected US economic releases on Thursday. This comes on top of still-sticky inflation and should allow the Fed to keep interest rates higher for longer. The outlook, meanwhile, should act as a tailwind for the US bond yields and favour the USD bulls. Moreover, diminishing odds for a more aggressive policy tightening by the Bank of England (BoE) might cap the GBP/USD pair.

The Office for National Statistics reported on Thursday that Britain’s economy shrank at the quickest pace in seven months in July, by 0.5%, reviving recession fears. This, along with signs that the UK labour market is cooling, puts pressure on the BoE to pause its rate-hiking cycle. Furthermore, the overnight sustained break and close below a technically significant 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) suggests that the path of least resistance for the GBP/USD pair is to the downside. Hence, any subsequent move up might still be seen as a selling opportunity and runs the risk of fizzling out rather quickly.

Traders now look forward to the BoE survey on Consumer Inflation Expectations for some impetus. Later during the early North American session, the US economic docket – featuring the Empire State Manufacturing Index and Prelim Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index – might influence the USD price dynamics and contribute to producing short-term trading opportunities around the GBP/USD pair. Nevertheless, spot prices remain on track to end in the red for the second straight week and the aforementioned fundamental backdrop seems tilted firmly in favour of bearish traders.

Technical levels to watch

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