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Forex - GBP/USD edges lower ahead of U.K. retail sales data

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Forexpros - The pound edged lower against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, as markets awaited key U.K. data on retail sales to help gauge the strength of the U.K. economic recovery.

GBP/USD hit 1.6492 during early European trade, the daily low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6525, declining 0.23%.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.6322, the low of August 16 and resistance at 1.6591, Wednesday's high and a three-month high.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics was due to release a report on U.K. retail sales for July later in the day.

The report could show that retail sales rose by 0.3% last month, after rising by 0.7% in June.

On Wednesday, minutes from the Bank of England's August policy-setting meeting proved to be more dovish than expected, showing that policy makers voted 9-0 to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5%.

The decision was the first since May 2010 without a vote for a rate increase. Policy makers voted 7-2 to keep interest rates on hold in July.

The MPC also voted 8-1 to maintain the central bank's asset-purchase program at GBP200 billion.

Some policy maker "considered whether there was a case for increasing" asset purchases, but they concluded the case "was not yet strong enough," the minutes showed.

Disappointing employment data on Wednesday confirmed the more dovish policy outlook, after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said earlier that the claimant count rose by a seasonally adjusted 37,100 in July, above expectations for an increase of 20,000.

The rate of unemployment rose unexpectedly to 7.9% from 7.7%, confounding expectations for unemployment to hold steady at 7.7%.

Elsewhere, the pound was fractionally higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP slipping 0.01% to hit 0.8719.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish a flurry of economic data, which will help traders gauge the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.

The country was to produce government reports on initial jobless claims, consumer price inflation, existing home sales, manufacturing activity in Philadelphia as well as a report on natural gas stockpiles.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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