The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.6375 level and was supported around the $1.6250 level. Sterling gained ground after Rightmove reported January house prices climbed +0.4% this month. At the same time, there was an increase in the number of people looking for new property and this added to cable's gains. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Miles today saw U.K. banks should hold triple the amount of equity. Data released in the U.K. last week saw the November leading indicator index decline 0.9%. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Posen last week called for additional business lending while MPC member Barker said she does not expect the economy to gather steam in the first six months of the year. Barker also indicated she sees first half growth prospects as patchy. MPC member Sentance moved the markets last week when he said At some point you have to say we have increased the amount of stimulus enough. It doesn't mean you are going to withdraw it but you don't have to keep adding to it. The Bank is approaching the point where we need to hold back and wait and see how that's flowing into the recovery. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5730 level. The euro lost ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ?0.8780 level and was capped around the ?0.8830 level.
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