Trading GBP/USD

The British pound/US dollar pair is one of the most liquid currency trades in the forex space. Tight bid-ask spreads, volume and volatility, all ensure the day trading popularity of GBP/USD. This page will break down everything you need to know about investing, from the history of the GBP/USD pair to its benefits and risks. Strategies will also be offered, including technical analysis and trading hours. We’ve listed the best GBP/USD brokers below.

GBP/USD Trading Brokers

  1. OANDA US - OANDA offers a diverse selection of 68 currency pairs, more than many alternatives. The broker’s in-house platform offers superb day trading capabilities via powerful TradingView charts, including 65+ technical indicators and 11 customizable chart types.
  2. Vantage - Vantage offers 55+ currency pairs - above the industry average, so experienced traders can explore plenty of opportunities. Vantage's deep liquidity pool provides forex spreads from 0.0 pips in the ECN account, lower than many alternatives. There are also no commissions, deposit fees or hidden charges.
  3. IC Markets - IC Markets maintains its commitment to providing exceptionally tight 0.0-pip forex spreads on major currency pairs such as EUR/USD. This makes it an excellent option if you are seeking superior execution, with an average of 35 milliseconds. Additionally, if you are a high-volume trader, you can benefit from rebates of up to $2.50 per forex lot.
  4. AvaTrade - AvaTrade offers 50+ currency pairs with competitive spreads from 0.9 pips and zero commissions. You can trade majors, minors and exotics around the clock on industry-leading platforms, including MT4 and MT5. Traders can also access beginner-friendly trading tools and comprehensive forex education.
  5. FOREX.com - FOREX.com continues to uphold its stature as a premier FX broker, offering over 80 currency pairs and boasting some of the most competitive fees in the industry. With EUR/USD spreads dipping as low as 0.0 and $5 commission per $100k, it stands out. Moreover, its SMART Signals help to identify price behaviors across numerous major currency markets.

Trading GBP/USD Comparison

Trading GBP/USD Comparison
Broker Forex Assets EUR/USD Spread Forex App Rating Minimum Deposit Regulator Visit
OANDA US logo
65+ 1.6
$0 NFA, CFTC Visit
Vantage logo
55+ 0.0
$50 FCA, ASIC, FSCA, VFSC Visit
IC Markets logo
75 0.02
$200 ASIC, CySEC, FSA Visit
AvaTrade logo
50+ 0.9
- ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM Visit
FOREX.com logo
80+ 1.2
$100 NFA, CFTC, CIRO, FCA, CYSEC, ASIC, SFC, FSA, MAS, CIMA Visit
Pepperstone logo
100+ 0.1
$0 FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB Visit
XM logo
55+ 1.6
$5 ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA Visit
Eightcap logo
50+ 0.0
$100 ASIC, FCA, xCySEC, SCB Visit
PrimeXBT logo
45+ Variable
$0 - Visit
IQ Option logo
60+ 14 pips
$10 - Visit
IG logo
80+ 0.8
$0 FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA Visit
FxPro logo
70+ 1.58 pips (Ave)
$100 FCA, CySEC, FSCA, SCB, FSC Visit
FXCC logo
70+ 0.2
$0 CySEC Visit
XTB logo
70+ 1.0
$0 FCA, CySEC, KNF, CNMV, DFSA, FSC Visit
Plus500 logo
60+ 0.6
$100 FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, FMA, EFSA Visit

#1 - OANDA US

Why We Chose OANDA US

OANDA is a popular brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements and advanced charting and trading platform features. The top-rated brand has over 25 years of experience and is regulated by trusted agencies, including the NFA/CFTC. Around the clock support is available for short-term traders, alongside flexible contract sizes and automated trade executions.

"OANDA remains an excellent broker for US day traders seeking a user-friendly platform with premium analysis tools and a straightforward joining process. OANDA is also heavily regulated with a very high trust score."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 3.4
  • EURUSD Spread: 1.6
  • EURGBP Spread: 1.7
  • Total Assets: 65+
  • Leverage: 1:50
  • Platforms: OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist

#2 - Vantage

Why We Chose Vantage

Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

"Vantage remains an excellent option for CFD traders seeking a tightly-regulated broker with access to the reliable MetaTrader platforms. The fast sign-up process and $50 minimum deposit make it very straightforward to start day trading quickly."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 0.5
  • EURUSD Spread: 0.0
  • EURGBP Spread: 0.5
  • Total Assets: 55+
  • Leverage: 1:500
  • Platforms: ProTrader, MT4, MT5, TradingView, DupliTrade

#3 - IC Markets

Why We Chose IC Markets

IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

"IC Markets offers superior pricing, exceptionally fast execution and seamless deposits. The introduction of advanced charting platforms, notably TradingView, and the Raw Trader Plus account, ensures it remains a top choice for intermediate to advanced day traders."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 0.23
  • EURUSD Spread: 0.02
  • EURGBP Spread: 0.27
  • Total Assets: 75
  • Leverage: 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade

#4 - AvaTrade

Why We Chose AvaTrade

AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

"AvaTrade offers the full package for short-term traders. There is powerful charting software, reliable execution, transparent fees, and fast account opening with a low minimum deposit."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 1.5
  • EURUSD Spread: 0.9
  • EURGBP Spread: 1.5
  • Total Assets: 50+
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)
  • Platforms: WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade

#5 - FOREX.com

Why We Chose FOREX.com

Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 1.3
  • EURUSD Spread: 1.2
  • EURGBP Spread: 1.4
  • Total Assets: 80+
  • Leverage: 1:400
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral

Chart

Why Day Trade GBP/USD?

There are many reasons why thousands of people head online to day trade the GBP/USD every day. Some of the biggest benefits are detailed below.

Drawbacks & Risks

Trading the GBP/USD forex pair appeals for many reasons, but there are also risks to be aware of:

So, day trading the GBP/USD may offer plenty of profit potential, but it does have its drawbacks. Those investing in the currency pair should be aware of both sides of the coin before risking their capital.

Influences on Movement

As you have probably gathered without the use of GBP/USD 20-year, 50-year, and 100-year charts, several factors shape market sentiment and prices. The most influential of which are as follows:

Currency Correlations

What may not be clear on your GBP/USD real-time chart is the impact of ‘currency correlations.’ This may just be a phrase you have come across in forums.

Because currencies are priced in pairs, no single pair is totally independent of the others. For example, if you are trading the British pound against the Japanese yen (GBP/JPY), you are actually investing in a derivative of the GBP/USD and USD/JPY pairs. To some extent, GBP/JPY has to be related to either or both of the other currency pairs.

Calculation

Correlation is a statical measure of the relationship between currency pairings. It can range from -1 to +1. The former suggests the currency pairs will move in the opposite direction, while the latter means they will move in the same direction. If the correlation is zero, the relationship is arbitrary.

The most efficient way to get your head around currency correlations is to calculate them yourself. Fortunately, it is relatively straightforward. An Excel spreadsheet will be your calculator, as you can use the correlation function (=CORREL). Once you have that, do the following:

It’s also worth keeping in mind that over time correlations can change. This can be as a result of monetary policy, plus economic and political factors.

Day Trading GBP/USD Strategy

Whatever your trading plan, whether it relies on weekly pivots and analysis or historical data in Excel and 5-year averages, all the points and examples of strategy below can be of use.

Timing

Because the forex market is open 24 hours, there is a frequent notion that you should be trading GBP/USD all day. That is not the case. Day traders that succeed will focus on moments when there is adequate volatility and volume to make more than the spread and/or fee.

Spreads widen in calm times and narrow in hectic times. So, instead of trading from Sunday evening through Friday afternoon, select specific periods. The best window is when both the UK and US markets are open. The ideal time to day trade the GBP/USD is between 8:00 and 10:00 GMT, plus 12:00 and 15:00 GMT. The most important daily changes are here, and spreads have little impact on profit.

So, whichever method you choose to determine support and resistance levels, trading during busy times frequently has the most profit potential.

Trading Breakouts Strategy

There is ample opportunity to day trade breakouts with the GBP/USD currency pairing. You need to look for solid risk-reward ratios. For example, risking 25 pips, but aiming for 100 pips if correct.

Opt for an aggressive 1:4 risk/reward ratio as above, and you can be right far less. On top of that, don’t risk too much capital per trade. Many suggest investing no more than 1-2% of your account balance on a single transaction. That way, you will protect yourself from losses and ensure you live to fight another forex day.

Trading News

Those less interested in day trading GBP/USD might choose 15-minute and 1-hour charts with technical forecasts. But instead, you can trade on today’s news.  This article has explored several of the GBP/USD influences. For example, economic data on the UK unemployment rate, manufacturing growth, consumer sentiment, and expenditure will all affect the needle.

Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, DailyFX, and Bloomberg provide live forex news updates. You may get an advantage if you can respond faster than the market. They also provide GBP/USD rates, forecasts, and the commentary you need to evaluate your positions.

In addition, whether your strategy revolves around wave counts via Elliot wave analysis, or breakout strategies, getting the latest forecasts, for this week and next will put you in a stronger position. Many of the news sources mentioned above provide excellent services to this end.

Forecasts

Long-term forecasts can often provide a strategy or at least single trades. Major users of the forex markets are utilizing the same long-term forecasts and economic outlook predictions. So, governments or corporations exchanging currency are doing so based on similar price movement expectations. This can often lead to self-fulfilling forecasts as those larger trades are either all being held, or all being pushed through.

One word of caution here is that too much reliability is placed on economic experts. If their predictions were properly recorded and tested, they might not be as reliable as people think.

4-Hour GBP/USD Strategy

You may want to view both a 4-hour and daily chart. Investors will use both to make decisions. The daily time frame will help identify the main trend while the 4-hour timeframe will be for entering positions.

You then need two forex indicators:

  1. Use a slow stochastic indicator with the following (13, 5, 5) settings applied to both charts
  2. Also, use an exponential moving average 4, EMA 14, and EMA 50 on the 4-hour chart

Selling Rules

Buying Rules

If the trend is strong today, you’ll make a decent number of pips. Because you enter on or just after where the exponential moving average crossover takes place, you enter as the trend starts and not halfway through.

For more guidance, see our strategy page.

History

Early Days

To effectively day trade on the GBP/USD, also known as the ‘cable’ (named after the transatlantic cable laid between the two nations), it helps to understand their turbulent relationship.

Trade has existed between the two currencies for so long there is no way to put forward an original pound dollar exchange rate. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that the concept of the GBP/USD we know today existed. Change was brought around by the transition to floating exchange rates by both the US and UK.

Before 1971, foreign exchange rate history was tied to the value of gold. This was a result of agreements reached in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference. The effects of which would have implications on the GBP/USD for nearly three decades.

With the end of Bretton Woods, the GBP/USD exchange rate became more volatile. During the 1980s, the pair’s prices moved widely. Several events in 1985 caused these fluctuations:

Impact

So, what went on in the US?

Exchange rates reflected Britain’s prosperity and America’s failure. As expected, the pound rose versus the dollar.

But then Reaganomics restored the status quo. High-interest rates were one of the key changes. Following tax cuts and military spending, the US economy boomed again. By 1985, the US dollar had risen 50% against leading currencies.

1990s Intervention

As part of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), the BoE boosted sterling’s value against the German Deutschmark. In a recession, higher interest rates were insufficient.

George Soros and others quickly saw the BoE’s predicament. His response: pound short. On September 16, 1992, Britain quit the ERM, abandoning expectations of sustaining the pound. In only one day, the pound lost 25% versus the dollar.

This all helps emphasize the use of historical facts and data on future GBP/USD outlook and forecasts.

2007 Crisis

A sub-prime crisis occurred before the 2008-2009 worldwide downturn. By summer of 2007, many big US financial firms were in danger. Because the worldwide consequences were not fully grasped, the pound gained versus the US dollar for much of 2007. In November 2007, it stood at 2.1163. After assessing the impact, the BoE slashed the bank rate to 0.5 percent and launched quantitative easing (QE).

Brexit

Another significant milestone came with the 2016 Brexit decision. The GBP/USD exchange rates and prices quickly shifted. The pound’s value sunk against the US dollar and other major currencies. Against the US dollar, the pound fell from $1.466 to $1.3694 when the result was announced. It then dropped to $1.2232 by October 2016, a fall of 16%. By the middle of 2017, the pound had stabilized.

Covid-19

The epidemic has placed even the most developed nations in peril, and market volatility has risen and fallen with it. Generally, countries with more instances saw their currencies fall, while those with less cases saw theirs rise. The impact on global trade, tourism, and hospitality has been significant. As a result, the GBP/USD became more volatile and unpredictable.

Once both countries implemented vaccination programs and cases have subsequently decreased to relatively low levels, the economies recovered, and the pair’s price movement stabilized.

Regardless of the pandemic, the all-time high of the GBP/USD was reached on 6th of March 1972 at $2.64 and the all-time low on the 25th of February 1986 at $1.05.

Understanding how events influence trading on your GBP/USD forex index system can prove helpful. Quite simply, whether you are based in the UK, US, Europe, or elsewhere, having the context will make those live trading rates make more sense.

Role of the Great British Pound

Despite its small size, the UK has one of the world’s largest economies. It is vital in international financial markets, and London is the FX capital.

For nearly a century, the UK was the world’s economic superpower. The British pound was then the unofficial reserve currency. During the two world wars, the UK declined, while the US grew as the world’s main economic power.

Government rules and labor market restrictions also harmed the UK economy. London’s rise as a worldwide financial powerhouse has helped stabilize the economy since then. It also helps that the UK is the second-largest oil and gas producer in Europe after Norway.

Role of the US Dollar

A fundamental part of GBP/USD trading economics is understanding the US dollar’s crucial role. It is of great importance for the following reasons:

FX day traders, therefore, need to understand what influences the US economy to forecast in which direction the US dollar will go.

You should consider the following economic indicators:

Final Word on GBP/USD Day Trading

As two of the most widely traded currencies in the world, the GBP/USD currency pairing attracts day traders from all over. Narrow bid-ask spreads and a generous choice of trading vehicles, including futures and options, will continue to reel in aspiring traders.

However, to profit in the crowded forex market, you will need to find an edge. Live chart investing is never straightforward. So, day trading during specific periods and utilizing volume will allow you to bring meaning to price fluctuations. Using signals and trends will also help you spot promising financial opportunities.

If you can do all that while overcoming the numerous risks, you may be taking the first step to joining the likes of successful forex traders, such as Micheal Marcus and Paul Tudor Jones.

You may also want to see our forex day trading page for further guidance.

FAQ

What Is The Best Time For Trading GBP/USD?

The most volatile time to trade the pair is when both the US and London markets are open simultaneously. This is between 08:00 and 10:00 GMT, plus 12:00 and 15:00 GMT.

When Shouldn’t You Trade GBP/USD?

One of the worst times to trade GBP/USD is the first or the last day of the week. This is because investors are slowly returning to the market, Monday can have low volatility and fewer opportunities for profits. Friday is also bad because of the over-weekend risk, when you won’t be able to close your positions. The market can also create significant gaps at the beginning of the week.

How Much Does GBP/USD Move Daily?

Investors must use caution when trading GBP/USD as the average daily change is 160 pips. This makes it one of the most volatile top forex pairs.

Is GBP/USD A Profitable Currency Pair To Trade?

High volatility and deep liquidity make it one of the most suitable day trading pairs. This means plenty of opportunities to turn a profit. In addition, it’s also one of the easiest pairs to trade using technical analysis.

The pair owes its popularity to the composing currencies; they are representative of two of the most influential world economies. Political and financial decisions taken by the US or the UK impact the international markets and economy.