The pound has appreciated significantly against the US dollar, reaching thus the level of $ 1.5700, which was mainly due to the publication of positive data on retail sales in Britain. Recall that in the UK retail sales rebounded in April at a faster than expected pace amid rising sales in non-food stores. Office for National Statistics reported that retail sales, including automotive fuel, increased by 1.2 percent for the month, offsetting the 0.7 percent drop in March. Sales are expected to grow by 0.4 per cent. With the exception of automotive fuel sales increased by 1.2 percent after it remained unchanged in March. Economists had forecast growth of 0.2 percent in April. Sales in food stores fell by 0.1 percent compared to the previous month, while sales of non-food stores increased by 2.4 per cent. In view of the motor fuel retail sales growth accelerated to 4.7 percent year-on-year in April from 4 percent in March and exceeded the 3.8 percent growth forecast of economists. Retail sales excluding automotive fuel also rose by 4.7 percent, but slightly slower than the increase of 4.8 percent in March. Sales are expected to grow by only 3.7 percent.
The dollar retreated from a session low against the euro, but still shows a moderate decrease. A slight pressure on the US currency had data on the housing market. The National Association of Realtors reported: housing sales in the secondary market decreased by 3.3% last month from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 5.04 million. Sales in March were revised up to 5.21 million. From the originally reported 5.19 million. Economists had expected April sales will increase to an annual rate of 5.24 million. Sales in April rose by 6.1% compared with the same month a year earlier. The median sale price of homes in the secondary market increased by 8.9% compared with a year earlier to $ 219,400 in April, saying the biggest increase since January 2004. This price is only close to the peak reached in 2006, when the average selling price for the year was $ 221 900. In view of the current sales pace, it would take 5.3 months to exhaust the supply of homes on the market. Total stocks of dwellings in late April increased 10% to 2.21 million. Houses are available for sale.
Furthermore, the market's attention is directed to the situation in Greece. Today starts the summit of EU leaders in Riga, where the main focus will be on the negotiations of Greece with the European partners. However, several EU representatives have already expressed on this subject and did not expect that in the framework of this meeting, an agreement is reached. Recall, on the eve of the European Central Bank increased the limit of the amount of funding Greek banks in the framework of emergency provision of liquidity by 200 million euros. This minimum limit increase since the start of the latest series of talks with Greece's international creditors in February. June 5 Greece is obliged to pay 305 million euros to the IMF and the risk to default if no agreement is reached before that date.
Meanwhile, investors will turn their attention to Friday's data on US inflation and the speech of the Fed's Yellen to get fresh instructions on how the economy behaves.