GBP/USD Trades With Modest Intraday Losses Below 1.2800 Mark, Lacks Follow-Through

The GBP/USD pair attracts some sellers for the second successive day on Tuesday and remains on the defensive heading into the European session. The pair trades around the 1.2775-1.2770 region, or a three-day low, which is still not far from its highest level since April 2022 touched last Friday.

The US Dollar (USD) builds on its recent recovery from over a one-month low and is seen as a critical factor exerting downward pressure on the GBP/USD pair. Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) paused its year-long policy tightening cycle but signaled that borrowing costs may still need to rise as much as 50 bps and forecasted a higher peak interest rate this year. The hawkish outlook triggers a fresh leg up in the US Treasury bond yields, which along with a softer risk tone, pushes the safe-haven buck higher for the third straight day.

Worries about a global economic slowdown, particularly in China, overshadow an interest rate cut by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). This is evident from a weaker sentiment surrounding the equity markets and drives some haven flows toward the Greenback. The USD bulls, however, seem reluctant to place aggressive bets and prefer to wait for fresh cues about the Fed’s future rate hike path. It is worth recalling that the incoming softer US macro data raised questions over how much headroom the US central bank has to keep raising rates.

Hence, the focus will remain on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on Wednesday and Thursday. Apart from this, speeches by many influential FOMC members will play a key role in driving the USD demand. In the meantime, expectations that the Bank of England (BoE) will be far more aggressive in policy tightening to combat high inflation should limit losses for the GBP/USD pair. This might discourage traders from placing new bets ahead of Wednesday’s UK consumer inflation figures and the BoE meeting on Thursday.

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