Pound notes
Pound shows weakness ahead of big set of data after a 1% bounce last weekReuters/Catherine Benson

Sterling moves higher from Friday's close in early Asian hours but stiff resistance at a channel barrier and weaker Rightmove house prices data prevented further upsides, also showing market's wariness ahead of a slew of UK data and the FOMC rate decisions in the upcoming week.

GBP/USD slipped back from the day's high of 1.5749 to as low as 1.5703 as compared to the previous close of 1.5719.

The pound was up 0.95% in the last week, distancing it from a 15-month low of 1.5540 but technical analysis shows risks more skewed to the downside with targets at 1.5600, 1.5500 ahead of 1.5350.

The Rightmove house price index for December rose 7% from a year earlier, data at 12:01 GMT showed, down from 8.5% for November. The month-over-month decline for December was 3.3% steeper than November's 1.7% fall.

For global markets, the event in focus is Wednesday's FOMC rate decision especially after the strong labour market data for November. However, for UK markets, several data points are going to be crucial including November CPI and PPI inflation, Bank of England minutes and a banks stress test result.

Stress test results of banks will be out on Tuesday at 7:00 GMT followed by the consumer, producer and retail price indices for November at 9:30 GMT.

Consensus estimate for CPI inflation is 1.5% year-on-year rate unchanged from October while the factory gate deflation is expected to improve to -8.3% from -8.4%.

The BoE governor Mark Carney will speak to media after an hour alongside the publication of the financial stability report too.

Wednesday at 9:30 GMT, the MPC minutes will be out alongside the November unemployment data.

The number of jobless claims in UK is expected to fall by 22,000 more than the 20,400 decline in October. The ILO unemployment rate is seen steady at 6% for the three months to October.

On Thursday, retail sales data for November will be out and on Friday the GfK December consumer confidence index from the UK.

Technical analysis

Charts show that Sterling is at a crucial resistance point where two channel resistances and the 61.8% Fibonacci level of the July 2013-July 2014 rally come together, making further upsides difficult.

A break of that level can push the GBP/USD pair towards 1.6000, the 50% level, but there will be reasonable resistance at 1.5850.

On the downside, 1.5600 is the immediate support, which if broken, the pair will aim 1.5500, a channel support. Upon breaking that, the pound will head towards 1.5350, the support barrier of a steeper downward channel.