The British pound weakened sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4780 level and was capped around the $1.5200 figure. Cable moved lower as traders reacted to strong-than-expected U.K. GDP data that were released on Friday. One theory suggests Prime Minister Brown may take advantage of the stronger-than-expected GDP data by calling a general election earlier than previously expected. Sterling is lower on the premise that the U.K. could have its first minority government in decades. The opposition Tory power is largely expected to assume more after more than one decade of Labour rule. Data released in the U.K. today saw January net lending to individuals increase to a total of ?2.0 billion in January from ?1.5 billion in December. Also, February manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 56.6 and January mortgage approvals came in at 48,000, down from 58,000 in December. Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.4455 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ?0.9145 level and was supported around the ?0.8965 level.