On Thursday, the pound was higher against the U.S. dollar, trading close to a four-week high ahead of the release of U.K. government data on retail sales.
GBP/USD hit 1.6200 during early European trade, the pair’s highest since June 22; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6164 as of around 8:30 A.M., GMT, gaining 0.077%.
Yesterday, the pound strengthened against the dollar, after the minutes of the Bank of England’s July policy setting meeting were slightly less dovish than expected. In contrast to the last meeting in June, there was no mention of further monetary easing. In a widely expected decision, the BoE kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5% in July.
Later today, details of a joint agreement between Germany and France on how to deal with the Greek debt problem are to be presented at a much-anticipated Euro zone summit in Brussels.
Across the Atlantic, the US Department of Labor is to release the Initial Jobless Claims figure at 12:30 A.M. GMT. Last week the reading came out at 405K but forecasts are somewhat negative this week with an expectation of 408K people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time.
Lastly, US Federal Reserver Chairman Ben Bernanke is to testify in Washington DC at 2:00 P.M. GMT today on the current US economic outlook and the ongoing public debt issue.