The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.9660 level and was capped around the $1.9745 level. Sterling could not maintain intraday gains notched after it was reported that the CBI June retail sales survey found 39% of respondents said H1 June sales were lower than one year ago while 30% indicated they improved, for an ensuing net balance of -9% - up from -14% in May and better than expected. These data suggest retail sales remain relatively weak. Bank of England Deputy Governor Gieve reported he expects a downturn in economic activity over the rest of the year. On the political front, London’s High Court rejected a legal move to force the British government to hold a referendum on the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.9360/ 1.9100 levels. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.7920 level and was supported around the ₤0.7890 level.
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