Sterling has been blasted lower after BoE governor Carney cast doubt on a previously pretty-much-expected UK May rate hike. The EU's rejection of Britain's latest Brexit-Irish border plan only served to deepen the rot.
Article / 23 June 2016 at 13:30 GMT

Charting the chop as the UK heads to the polls

Technical Analyst / FuturesTechs
United Kingdom
  • Sterling rallies into Brexit vote
  • Next resistance at 1.5118
  • Asian trade likely to be volatile

In like a lion: The referendum trade promises to be choppy even in the event of a Remain vote, so it's important to keep an eye on the longer-term charts. Photo: iStock

By Clive Lambert

So here we are, June 23 – the day we've all been waiting for. This week (and today's session) has seen some pretty big moves, and that's before we even have anything other than polls and betting activity to monitor.

I'm a chart bod, so am not going to even try to make any "calls" on the way the vote will go, or the market's reaction. But what I can do (and where I think charts can come in useful in such situations) is look at the "bigger picture" levels that might come into play on any such extreme moves.

George Osborne has talked about a 10% depreciation in sterling on a "Leave" vote; George Soros has talked about 15-20%. I'm not sure whether this is before or after the 6.5% rise we've seen over the last six sessions! 

This rally that we've seen in the last week or so has seen us from a low of 1.4012 last Thursday to a high of 1.4948 earlier today. I think it's fair to say this rally has been the result of an increasing lean towards a "Remain" outcome, and the Scottish referendum a few years back (amongst other examples) set a precedent for the "undecideds" to vote for no change when push comes to shove.

So let's look at some weekly charts and see what they tells us about the "big picture" levels:

GBPUSD weekly bar chart:

The following are in my view the "big picture levels":

Support: 1.4638-75, 1.4534, 1.4261, 1.4012, 1.3838, 1.3504.
Resistance: 1.4951, 1.5118, 1.5514, 1.5818, 1.5910, 1.6106. 

Current chart posture: Off the lows, suggesting a bottom is "in", but shy of 1.5118... for now.

EURGBP weekly chart:
Support:  0.7623, 0.7564, 0.7510, 0.7416, 0.7225, 0.7124, 0.6932.
Resistance:  0.7765, 0.7853, 0.7995, 0.8029, 0.8118, 0.8317.

Current chart posture: 2015 was one big bottom but we need to keep above 0.7510-50 to keep this alive.

Gilt futures weekly:
Gilt Futures

Support: 123.01, 122.35, 121.88, 121.42, 121.01, 120.67, 118.67.
Resistance: 124.05, 124.45, 125.18, 125.73, 126.79, 127.50.

Current chart posture: Off the top and heading lower in the short term, but the bulls still look very much in charge on the longer timeframes.

FTSE 100 monthly:
FTSE Monthly
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Support: 6162, 6030, 5836.5, 5723, 5499, 5291, 4860.
Resistance:  6387, 6487, 6733, 6813, 7000, 7122.

Current chart posture: Recent monthly candles (i.e. for the last couple of years) whenever we've been off the highs have had long lower shadows which says dip buying is strong and evident. We need to clear 6400-6500 to mount a fresh assault on the all-time high of 7122.

I will finish by doing something that I said above I wouldn't do...  I think we will see a 55% vote in favour of Remain and after an initial flurry higher sterling will come back to provide a buying opportunity. I would say be careful not to "buy high". In fact, the best advice I can give is to leave well enough alone, especially in the Asian session!

— Edited by Michael McKenna

Clive Lambert is chief technical analyst at FuturesTechs


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