The British pound extended its recent depreciation vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5980 level and was capped around the $1.6135 level. Sterling continued its move lower on growing speculation the Bank of England€™s Monetary Policy Committee will extend its quantitative easing scheme by lifting its asset purchasing plan beyond ‚¤150 billion. An announcement could come tomorrow following the MPC€™s meeting. Data released in the U.K. today saw the Halifax June house price index off 0.5% m/m and 15.0% y/y. Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling reported the government will establish a new financial stability council that will integrate the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority, and the U.K. Treasury. Other data released today saw BRC June shop prices up 0.7%. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ‚¤0.8670 level and was supported around the ‚¤0.8615 level.