GBP/USD faces a bleak near-term picture with only slight glimmers of hope from a surprise contraction in Q1 U.S. GDP on Thursday, as another day of cycle lows showed little sign that cable's slide was abating, unless the slowing economy tempers Fed's tone on rate hikes after next week's widely expected 50 bps rise.
But markets have yet to pursue that notion, with cable striking a 2022 low at 1.2416, its weakest since mid-2020, even after the U.S. GDP release.
For the week, GBP/USD has traded in a 1.2923-1.2416 range, and dollar buying on widening Fed-BoE rate divergence, Russian saber-rattling nR4N2VY021, Chinese economic slowdown fears nB9N2W400F and Japan's pledge to keep rates accommodative nL2N2WQ0JX are keepingdownward pressure on sterling.
The hope for cable bulls nL2N2WQ1F3 is that the soft U.S. data nL2N2WP2ZV, including core PCE prices advancingin Q1 at 5.2%, a shade below Reuters consensus forecast at 5.4%, will make for an interesting presser after the May 4 Fed meeting.
Futures are pricing 240bps of hikes by the Dec. 14 Fed meeting.
The GDP figures, though distorted by trade and inventories, still leave a tricky balancing act for the Fed, which could provide relief for beaten-down sterling.
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