The British pound moved higher vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.9840 level and was supported around the $1.9745 level. Technically, todays intraday low was just below the 23.6% retracement of the move from $2.1160 to $1.9335. There is a debate between traders as to whether Bank of England will reduce its repo rate by 25bps or 50bps next week while others do not believe the Monetary Policy Committee will lower rates until May. Many data were released in the U.K. today. First, Bank of England reported that February mortgage approvals rose by 73,000, just off from 74,000 in January. Second, net mortgage lending growth was flat in February. Third, total net consumer lending grew ₤8.9 billion in February, up from a revised ₤8.3 billion in January. Fourth, BoE reported Q4 housing equity withdrawal fell to ₤7.3 billion from ₤10.8 billion in Q3. Fifth, CIPS March construction PMI fell to 47.2, the first contraction in six years. Sixth, February final M4 money supply growth fell 0.2% m/m, the lowest decline since June 2005. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9605 levels. The euro came off vis--vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7850 level and was capped around the ₤0.7905 level.
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