The British pound rallied sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9595 level and was supported around the $1.9405 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.9735 to $1.9360 level. Sterling rocketed higher after the release of stronger-than-expected U.K. retail sales data showed January retail sales were up 0.8% m/m and 5.6% y/y. These data could render it more difficult for Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to reduce interest rates further at this time. BoE MPC member Sentance today said In my judgment, an outright recession - in which economic activity falls year-on-year - is a remote risk for the U.K. economy at present. But we should expect to see a significant slowdown in growth. And there remains a lot of uncertainty about how pronounced and prolonged this will be. His comments suggest the normally hawkish policymaker may be inclined to vote for lower rates in the future. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9260 level. The euro weakened vis-à-vis the British pound tested bids around the ₤0.7515 level and was capped around the ₤0.7580 level.