Forex: GBP/USD – Sterling buoyed by cheerful retail sales data

on Jul 18, 2013
Listen Thursday July 18th: The pound traded lower against the dollar earlier today, falling more than one percent from yesterday’s high at 1.5268, reached after release of disappointing US housing data. As the European session got under way though, the pair moved up from the mid-1.51’s on the back of the better than expected UK retail sales data published at 09:30 BST. The quote is currently again above 1.5200.

The US Commerce Department yesterday reported that the number of building permits issued in the United States fell 7.5 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted 911,000, disappointing expectations for an increase of 1.5 percent to one million units. New housing starts dropped by 9.9 percent last month to hit a seasonally adjusted 836,000, as against expectations for an increase of 3.9 percent to 959,000.

But in releases earlier today from the UK’s Office of National Statistics:
• Retail sales in June showed continuing albeit moderate growth . Q2 2013 volumes were up 0.9 percent on the first quarter.
• Year-on-year, the June increase was 2.2 percent, with most volume growth coming from the non-store retailing sector and non-specialised stores.
• June was down by 0.2 percent month-on-month. The three percent growth in department stores sales was the greatest m/m rise since March 2012.

• June’s retail goods prices were 1.7 percent up on the prior June year, attributable to price increases in the textile, clothing and footwear sector and in the food sector.
• The estimated weekly spend across all retailing averaged £6.9 billion in June, up from £6.8 billion in May and the prior June’s £6.6 billion.
The Bank of England meeting minutes released yesterday showed unanimity amongst MPC members on maintaining the status quo with fiscal stimulus.
The US Department of Labour is set to release its latest weekly jobless claims report at 13:30 BST. This will be followed by the CB Leading Indicator and the Philadelphia Fed’s Manufacturing Survey for July at 15:00 BST. At that time also, US Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is to appear before the Senate Banking Committee.