Sterling has hit its highest level in almost five years against the US dollar.
UK retail sales fell by 0.5% in May.The amount spent in the retail industry increased by 3.2% last month, compared with May 2013, but was 0.5% lower than the previous month.
That's the first monthly fall of the year, but largely as expected after retailers benefited from the late Easter in April There was a 28.9% surge in spending at sporting goods and toy stores, compared to a year ago.
The CBI has warned the strong pound risks denting Britain's recovery, by making it harder for manufacturers to export. As the pound strengthens exporters become less competitive.
Janet Yellen's dovish words on inflation and unemployment have pushed down the dollar, as has the news that Federal Reserve policy makers believe interest rates will eventually peak at a low level of only 3.75%, down from 4%
It is a bit surprising that Yellen would talk down the dollar but a possible reason could be to try a combat the potential strength it may gain if the internal conflict in Iraq continues.
Continuing jobless claims in the US have dropped to 2.561M from 2.615M surpassing the predictions of 2.6M.
Initial jobless claims were also better than expected, lower unemployment figures are a good sign the US economy is recovering.
15:00 – EUR – Consumer Confidence (Jun) expected to show some slight improvement to -6.5
15:30 – CAD – Retail Sales April expected to be slightly higher at 0.5%
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