Friday, April 20, 2007

Pound Up Slightly On Euro; Flat With Other Majors, Friday, April 20, 2007 3:52:38 PM

The British pound showed some strength in trading on Friday in New York. The sterling was up on the euro and generally choppy with the yen and dollar. Trading took place amid the release of retail sales growth data in the U.K.

The sterling was choppy with the dollar during Friday morning trading in New York, hanging near a 26-year high. The pound advanced as high as 2.0069 at 2:30 a.m. and fell back to as high as 1.9990 at 4:45 a.m. before settling back. The pair was at 2.0022 at 10:20 a.m. ET. The pair was at 2.0035 at 4 p.m. ET.

The pound advanced above a range against the euro on Friday morning in New York. The currency began to rise at around 4:30 a.m. and reached a daily low of 0.6781 at 11 a.m. ET. Trading took place amid the release of retail sales growth data in the U.K. and French consumer spending growth numbers. Trading was sideways from there and the pair exchanged at 0.6784 at 3:45 p.m.

The sterling was back at its flat-level against the yen after a choppy morning in New York. The pound got up to 238.30 in the early morning but dropped to as low as 237.22 a few hours later. The sterling advanced for about four hours after that. The yen rallied around 1 p.m. ET and the pair settled at 237.85 by 4 p.m.

U.K. retail sales growth eased in March, though annual increase remained solid, official data showed Friday. However, the data did little to alter market speculation that the Bank of England would favor a rate hike in May against a backdrop of a surprise spurt in inflation.

The seasonally adjusted retail sales volume rose 0.3% on month in March, the Office of the National Statistics- ONS said. The monthly growth stood below the 0.5% increase expected. February`s increase was revised up to 1.6% from 1.4%, which was the biggest increase since January 2005. On an annual basis, retail sales volume grew 4.8% in March, slightly above the expected climb of 4.7%. The annual gain is smaller than the 5.1% rise in the prior month, revised up from 4.9% reported earlier.
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