Retail Sales Data Helps UK Pound against US Dollar

UK pound is higher against the US dollar today, gaining on better retail sales data. The expectation now is that Great Britain will avoid a recession, and that is providing sterling with a little support today.

The Confederation of British Industry reported a change to minus 2 on its index in February — up significantly from January’s minus 22. The news is supporting the idea that Great Britain’s economy won’t slide into recession after all, and that is helping the pound against the US dollar. With the economy on mend in Britain, it is little surprise that the pound is gaining as well.
Some are surprised, though, that the euro remains higher against the pound today. S&P cut Greece’s rating to selective default, but that has done little to hinder the euro on the Forex market. The news has, however, increased demand for gilts. British bonds are in demand as alternative some of the eurozone debt out there. Greece’s restructuring represents the largest such even in history.
For now, though, the markets seem upbeat. The Greek drama appears finally to have reached some sort of end, and that is providing a measure of relief and closure, and supporting high beta currencies.
At 14:24 GMT GBP/USD is higher at 1.5856, up from the open at 1.5823. EUR/GBP is up to 0.8475 from the open at 0.8467. GBP/JPY is higher at 127.5630, up from the open at 127.5450.

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