The British pound depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9510 level and was capped around the $1.9725 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw December retail sales plummet 0.4% m/m and climb 2.7% y/y, lower-than-expected. BoE MPC member Gieve yesterday suggested the global credit crisis has raised the possibility the U.K. economy will undergo a deep and painful slowdown in 2008. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7495 level and was supported around the ₤0.7415 level.