Investing.com - The pound advanced to two-month highs against the dollar on Thursday after official data showed that U.K. retail sales rose much more strongly than expected in July, fuelling optimism over the economic outlook.
GBP/USD hit 1.5588 during European morning trade, the highest since June 19; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.5577, gaining 0.49%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.5494, the session low and resistance at 1.5600.
The Office for National Statistics said retail sales climbed by a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in July, beating expectations for a 0.6% gain after a 0.2% increase in June.
Retail sales were 3% higher from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 2.5% gain, after rising at an annual rate of 1.9% in June.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, rose 1.1% in July, above forecasts for a 0.6% gain, after increasing 0.3% in the preceding month.
Sunnier summer weather boosted sales of food, alcohol, clothing and outdoor items, the ONS said.
The dollar remained under pressure amid ongoing uncertainty over whether the U.S. economic recovery is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to begin unwinding its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program later this year.
Sterling rose to one-month highs against the euro, with EUR/GBP down 0.20% to 0.8533.
The U.S. was to release a series of economic data later in the trading day, with reports on consumer inflation, jobless claims, industrial production and manufacturing data from the Empire state and the Philly Fed.
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