Sterling firmed on Friday above its weakest level since November, after impressive U.S. retail sales and a more hawkish Federal Reserve tone supported the greenback and stressed policy divergence between the nations.
The British currency was unchanged at $1.3263, near the seven-month nadir of $1.3205 it touched late last month. Versus the euro, the pound slid 0.2 percent to 87.41 pence but stayed above the 88-pence range it had reached at before the euro’s decline on Thursday.
Investors anticipate the Bank of England to hold interest rates steady next week, but wait for any signs that the regulator is more confident taking into account sluggish economic figures in the first quarter.
UK retail sales this week eased worries over a slowdown in the economy in the second quarter, although sluggish earnings growth and industrial output figures pointed at the weak fundamentals.