The British pound lost ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6220 level and was capped around the $1.6480 level. North American dealers lifted cable from intraday lows. Data released in the U.K. today saw May jobless claims rise 39,300 while the claimant count rate of unemployment printed at 7.2%. Sterling was dented during European dealing after a report from Bank of England suggested further sterling strength would €œreduce the boost to net trade arising from (sterling€™s) depreciation since summer 2007.€ On the other hand, BoE added sterling€™s recent appreciation €œmay reflect the unwinding of some excess pessimism€ about the U.K. Traders await comments from Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling at his annual Mansion House speech later in the session. BoE Governor King was quoted today as saying the U.K. banking system is too large, as are some U.K. banks. He also reported €œThere are certainly grounds for believing that the rapid falls in activity are coming to an end. But there are some equally solid reasons for believing that the path to full recovery could be protracted.€ Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6110 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ‚¤0.8535 level and was supported around the ‚¤0.8425 level.