The pound spiked up against its major counterparts in the European session on Tuesday, as U.K. inflation improved more than forecast in January, bolstering expectations for a Bank of England rate hike in May.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that inflation came in at 3 percent in January, up from 2.9 percent estimated by economists.
The rate was unchanged from the previous month.
Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, accelerated to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent in December. The rate was also above the expected 2.6 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.5 percent compared to expectations of 0.6 percent drop.
Separate data showed that British house price inflation accelerated slightly in December, after easing in the previous month.
The house price index climbed 5.2 percent year-over-year December, faster than the 5.0 percent rise in November, which was revised down from a 5.1 percent increase reported earlier.
Meanwhile, the output price inflation eased to 2.8 percent in January from 3.3 percent a month ago. The rate was expected to fall moderately to 3 percent.
Likewise, input price inflation slowed to 4.7 percent from 5.4 percent in the previous month. Prices were forecast to gain 4.1 percent.
Month-on-month, output prices edged up 0.1 percent and input prices climbed 0.7 percent.
The pound weakened against its major opponents in the Asian session, with the exception of the greenback.
The pound strengthened to a 4-day high of 1.3913 against the greenback, from a low of 1.3832 seen at 8:15 pm ET. The pound is poised to challenge resistance around the 1.43 level.
Following a 4-day low of 1.2937 hit at 3:00 am ET, the pound reversed direction and advanced to 1.3012 against the franc. Next key resistance for the pound is likely seen around the 1.32 area.
Having fallen to a 6-day low of 0.8897 against the euro at 2:00 am ET, the pound bounced off to 0.8858. If the pound extends rise, 0.86 is seen as its next resistance level.
The pound reclaimed some of its lost ground against the yen with the pair trading at 149.65. Earlier, the pound set a 4-day low of 148.98 versus the Japanese currency. On the upside, 153.00 is possibly seen as the next resistance for the pound.
Data from the Bank of Japan showed that Japan producer prices picked up 0.3 percent on month in January.
That was in line with expectations and up from the downwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in December.
Looking ahead, at 8:00 am ET, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester speaks about the economic outlook and monetary policy at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Breakfast.
|See also: Current support and resistance levels|