The British pound appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.5450 level and was supported around the $1.5335 level.  Bank of England reported overall mortgage costs increased for the first time in six months in March.  Data released in the U.K. today saw February DCLG house prices climb 7.4% y/y, up from the prior reading of +6.2%, while the February total trade balance printed at -£2.061 billion.  Other data saw the March RICS house price balance come in at 9%, down from the February total of 18%.  March Nationwide consumer confidence data will be released tomorrow. Traders are closely monitoring the lead-up to the U.K. general election on 6 May amid talk that Prime Minister Brown may have narrowed the gap against Tory challenger Cameron, the presumed favourite.  Dealers are still speculating the most likely scenario will be a hung Parliament and sterling has generally been weaker as a result of this premise.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5140 level.  The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the £0.8800 figure and was capped around the £0.8860 level.