The British pound lost substantial ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4740 level and was capped around the $1.4915 level. Data released in the U.K. today saw BRC like-for-like retail sales increase 1.1% y/y in January, the first improvement since May 2005. RICS reported the decline in house prices has quickened and the outlook has become more pessimistic. Also, it was reported that the U.K.’s global trade gap narrowed to ₤7.367 billion, its lowest level since June 2007. Prime Minister Brown is spreading a populist message regarding compensation for finance professionals. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4615 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.8790 level and was supported around the ₤0.8635 level.