The British pound came off vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.6075 level and was capped around the $1.6280 level.  Sterling was kept on the defensive after the U.K. government lifted its terrorist warning to severe from substantial.  Data released in the U.K. today saw December retail sales expand a modest 0.3% y/y, up from November's 0.3% decline but below expectations.  Retail sales were up 2.1% y/y and this means the U.K. holiday season registered its slowest growth in eleven years. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.6030 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ?0.8785 level and was supported around the ?0.8685 level.