The British pound strengthened sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9790 level and was supported around the $1.9605 level. Sterling gained ground on comments from Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Gieve who hawkishly noted the global increase in oil and food prices will likely raose our inflation rate well above target in the coming months at a time when short-term inflation expectations remain uncomfortably high. These are testing times for the MPC. BCC today forecast slowing economic growth and elevated inflation will be difficult for the U.K. economy. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7415 level and was capped around the ₤0.7480 level.