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      GBP/USD: Bulls defending 1.55 handle

      FXStreet (Mumbai) - The GBP/USD pair failed near three-week highs and receded gains in the mid-European trades, as markets digest the latest UK retail sales number while gradually shifting focus towards the Fed's crucial rate decision.

      Fed rate decision in focus

      The GBP/USD pair trades 0.09% higher 1.5506, retreating from close to fresh 3-week highs reached at 1.5526 levels. The pound trimmed gains against its American counterpart as markets moved past the UK’s economic news and now prepare for the much-awaited event for this month – the Fed rate decision, which is likely to impact the currency's direction.

      In last hours, GBP/USD pair spiked higher beyond 1.55 barrier following the UK retail sales data, which came out in line with market expectations. August retail sales rose 0.1%, down from the 0.4% seen in July, meeting expectations, but there were downward revisions to the previous month.

      GBP/USD Levels to consider

      The pair has an immediate resistance at 1.5545 (Aug 7 High) above which gains could be extended to 1.5605 (Aug 10 High) levels. On the flip side, support is seen at 1.5500 below which it could extend losses to 1.5449 (Aug 26 Low) levels.

      FOMC: Rate hike, not this time – BNP Paribas

      Alexandra ESTIOT, Research Analyst at BNP Paribas, suggests that today’s FOMC meeting is one with forecasts’ update and press brief, a good opportunity for policy change but necessary conditions are not always sufficient, and we do not expect the Fed to change its policy stance.
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      EUR/GBP positive above 0.7220 – Commerzbank

      In the view of Karen Jones, Head of FICC Technical Analysis at Commerzbank, the outlook on the European cross remains positive above 0.7220...
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