The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5850 level and was supported around the $1.5705 level. The European Commission today granted the U.K. permission to extend its temporary bank support programs through the end of the year. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Posen reported There are still problems out there in the banking system. It is possible we will have another banking sector-led problem in the U.S. and elsewhere. Data released in the U.K. today saw September retail sales up 2.8% y/y while the DCLG house price index was off 5.6% in August. Also, September consumer price inflation fell to 1.1% from 1.6% in August and was unchanged m/m. The annual decline represented the weakest rate in seven years. These data render it likely the MPC will keep its easy monetary policy unchanged for some time. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5640 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ?0.9410 level and was supported around the ?0.9345 level.