Pound Advances with Retail Sales
The Great Britain pound climbed today after a report showed that UK retail sales grew last month, following a decline in the previous month. The report made Britain’s assets more attractive to investors, who were worried about the economic slowdown in the United Kingdom.
British Retail Consortium reported that retail sales were up 1.3 percent on a like-for-like basis in March from a year ago. The increase followed the drop by 0.3 percent in the previous month. Stephen Robertson, the Director General at BRC, warned against being too exited by the positive data:
It’s worth remembering the sales comparison is against the weakest month of last year, largely caused by the movement of Easter in the calendar, and we’ll have to see whether this is additional spending or just shopping which has happened earlier than usual. Food sales growth continues to be largely underpinned by food inflation rather than by customers buying more.
He also added that “the overall retail environment is still difficult”.
The pound got additional help from the overall positive sentiment on the Forex market. Fears of the European debt crisis subsided somewhat, making traders more willing to risk, yet uncertainty about prospects for the eurozone make Britain’s assets more attractive as a haven from potential problems in the European Union.
GBP/USD was up from 1.5860 to 1.5903 and GBP/JPY rose from 127.91 to 128.59 as of 21:00 GMT today. EUR/GBP traded at about 0.8238 after earlier it jumped from 0.8244 to 0.8263.
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