When are UK’s Retail Sales and how could affect GBP/USD?

UK’s National Statistics will release later today (930h GMT) its results from Retail Sales during the month of January. Market consensus expects headline sales to have expanded at a monthly 0.9%, while sales excluding the Fuel component are seen gaining 0.7% on a monthly basis. Both prints are expected to revert December’s 1.9% and 2.0% contractions, respectively.

Key Notes

Regarding FX, Cable has been gravitating within a broad consolidative range in the last three weeks, with a mix of USD-dynamics, cautious BoE, uncertainty around Brexit negotiations and pretty solid fundamentals driving the sentiment around the Sterling. Disappointing results today will surely add to the lower-than-forecasted readings from inflation figures (Tuesday) and labour report (Wednesday) and could prompt GBP/USD to retest weekly lows in the 1.2375/70 band. In case of a positive surprise, the area around 1.2520 emerges as the interim hurdle (recent tops and 20-day sma).

About Retail Sales

The retail Sales released by the National Statistics measures the total receipts of retail stores. Monthly percent changes reflect the rate of changes of such sales. Changes in Retail Sales are widely followed as an indicator of consumer spending. Generally speaking, a high reading is seen as positive, or bullish for the GBP, while a low reading is seen as negative or bearish.