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Forex News: Pound Strengthens Following Unexpected Rise In U.K. Retail

Pound Strengthens Following Unexpected Rise In U.K. Retail Sales

09/20/2018 - 05:59:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound climbed against its major opponents in the early European session on Thursday, after a data showed that U.K. retail sales grew unexpectedly in August.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales volume, including auto fuel, gained 0.3 percent month-on-month in August, slower than the 0.9 percent increase seen in July and in contrast to the expected fall of 0.2 percent. This was the second consecutive rise in sales volume.

Sales excluding auto fuel, also advanced 0.3 percent after rising 1.1 percent a month ago, while economists had forecast a 0.2 percent fall.

On a yearly basis, retail sales volume growth slowed to 3.3 percent from 3.8 percent in July. Nonetheless, the pace of increase exceeded the expected 2.3 percent.

Similarly, excluding auto fuel, retail sales climbed 3.5 percent after rising 4 percent in the previous month. Economists had forecast a 2.4 percent rise.

European shares rose as investors brushed aside concerns about trade wars and looked ahead to next week's Federal Reserve meeting for directional cues.

The pound climbed to more than 2-month highs of 0.8854 against the euro and 1.3217 versus the dollar, from its early lows of 0.8890 and 1.3135, respectively. The pound is seen finding resistance around 0.87 against the euro and 1.34 versus the dollar.

The pound advanced to 1.2769 against the franc and 148.35 against the yen, reversing from its previous lows of 1.2699 and 147.35, respectively. On the upside, 1.29 and 150.00 are likely seen as the next resistance levels for the pound against the franc and the yen, respectively.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended September 15, leading index and existing home sales for August are scheduled for release.

At 10:00 am ET, Eurozone advanced consumer sentiment index for September will be out.

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