The British pound appreciated sharply vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.6495 level and was supported around the $1.6160 level. Cable reached its highest level since 30 October 2008 as traders continued their pursuit of higher-yielding assets. Data released in the U.K. today saw May manufacturing PMI improve to 45.4 from 43.1 in April, exceeding forecasts but the fourteenth consecutive month of contraction. Also, Hometrack May house prices were steady, the first time in twenty months they have not declined. Prime Minister Brown indicated he will not step down regardless of the results of next week€™s European and local elections. Brown also supported Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling who may have inadvertently gotten involved in the pay scandal impacting many members of Parliament. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5535 level. The euro depreciated vis-Ã -vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ‚¤0.8615 level and was capped around the ‚¤0.8740 level.