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UK Retail Sales better than expectations

Sterling hit a one-month high against the dollar this morning, after UK retail sales data came in much higher than expected, soothing worries about weakening consumer sentiment in Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union.

Sales volumes in February rose by 1.4 percent from January, beating the 0.4 percent increase forecast by a poll of economists and reversing three consecutive monthly declines. The concerns about the UK economy are overdone.

A dramatically weakened pound – which has lost nearly a fifth of its value following the EU referendum – has driven up the prices of goods, with data showing consumers spending far less on non-essential items.

Sterling touched a day’s high of $1.2517 against the dollar shortly after the start of European trading, last trading at $1.2488, up 0.1 percent on the day.

This was above Wednesday’s low of $1.2424 the pound had briefly hit after a knife-wielding attacker outside Parliament in London killed four people and injured 40 before being shot dead in what British police called a terrorist incident.

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