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Forex News: Pound Strengthens As U.K. Retail Sales Growth Beats

Pound Strengthens As U.K. Retail Sales Growth Beats Forecasts

06/14/2018 - 05:56:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound advanced against its major counterparts in early European deals on Thursday, after a data showed that U.K. retail sales growth accelerated more than expected in May.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales volume including auto fuel, grew 1.3 percent month-on-month, following April's 1.8 percent increase. This was the second consecutive rise in sales and much bigger than the expected 0.5 percent.

Sales excluding auto fuel, climbed 1.3 percent versus 1.4 percent increase a month ago. Sales were expected to gain 0.3 percent.

Annually, overall retail sales growth advanced to 3.9 percent in May from 1.4 percent in April. Sales were forecast to climb 2.4 percent.

Similarly, excluding auto fuel, retail sales increased 4.4 percent after expanding 1.4 percent a month ago. This was also faster than the expected 2.5 percent.

Data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that U.K. house price balance improved more than expected in May. The house price balance rose to -3 percent from -7 percent in April. The expected level was -5 percent

Meanwhile, European shares fell after the US Fed stuck a hawkish tone by projecting a faster pace of rate hikes this year and investors awaited the ECB rate decision for a clear signal on whether the central bank will end the bond buying program by the end of the year.

The currency showed mixed trading against its major counterparts in the Asian session. While it rose against the greenback and the franc, it held steady against the euro. Against the yen, it fell.

The pound rallied to a 3-day high of 1.3440 against the greenback and a 2-day high of 1.3212 against the franc, reversing from its early lows of 1.3370 and 1.3163, respectively. If the pound rises further, it may find resistance around 1.36 against the greenback and 1.35 against the franc.

The pound reversed from its early lows of 147.25 against the yen and 0.8821 against the euro, rising to 147.84 and 0.8795, respectively. On the upside, 150.00 and 0.86 are possibly seen as the next resistance levels for the pound against the yen and the euro, respectively.

Looking ahead, at 7:45 am ET, the European Central Bank announces its decision on interest rates. Economists expect the bank to keep its main refi rate at a record low of zero percent.

In the New York session, Canada new housing price index for April, U.S. retail sales and import and export prices for May, weekly jobless claims for the week ended June 9 and business inventories for April are scheduled for release.

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