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Pound Reaches 2-Week High Versus US Dollar, as UK Retail Sales Climb

Market CommentaryPound Reaches 2-Week High Versus US Dollar, as UK Retail Sales Climb

Welcome to Pure FX's latest update of the pound to US dollar interbank exchange rate.

This tells you when it's a favourable time to exchange pounds to US dollars, for your money transfer.

Sterling jumps against the greenback! The pound to US dollar interbank exchange rate has hit 1.4158 today, its highest in 2 weeks, or since March 28th.

The pound has climbed against the US dollar, because UK retail sales rose faster than forecast last month, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC) today.

Sterling has jumped, because UK like-for-like retail sales rose by +1.4% in March compared to a year ago, according to the BRC today, above forecasts for +0.7%.

This has lifted the pound, because this tells us that Brits continued to spend last month, even with the "Beast from The East" cold front.

In particular, food sales in Blighty jumped by +4.2% in the 3 months to March, compared to +2.8% in the previous 3 month period, thus boosting sterling.

What's more, with UK wage growth catching up with inflation, UK retail sales may rise faster looking ahead, thereby strengthening the pound too.

US dollar weakens, as Trump tweets on China trade

Furthermore, the pound to US dollar interbank exchange rate has also strengthened, because US President Donald Trump has inflamed trade tensions with China again, in a new tweet.

The US dollar has lost out, because Mr. Trump tweeted that the USA's putting 2.5% tariffs on Chinese car imports, while China puts 25% on US car imports, is "stupid trade - going on for years!"

This has weakened, the buck, because Mr. Trump's tweet has renewed fears that the USA and China, the world's 2 biggest economies, will engage in a trade war.

"Trade tensions remain front and center" between America and China, according to Shaun Osborne and Eric Theoret at Scotiabank yesterday, thereby dragging down the US dollar.

This has weighed on the greenback, because if the USA engages in a trade war with China, US economic growth could slow significantly in the months and years to come.

As a result, the pound to US dollar interbank exchange rate has hit this 2-week high, and could rise further!

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Please bear in mind, this article is Pure FX’s opinion only and does not constitute advice. Moreover, the exchange rates referred to in this article are the interbank rates, which are the rates at which banks and financial institutions buy and sell currency to each other. Therefore these exchange rates cannot be accessed by individuals or SMEs, and are not the same rates that Pure FX can offer. To get a free exchange rate quote, call us on +44 (0) 1494 671800, or email peter.lavelle@purefx.co.uk.

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