2024.01.1911:36:00UTC+00Pound Weakens As U.K. Retail Sales Disappoint

The pound fell against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, after a data showed that the nation's retail sales declined more than expected in December.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales declined 3.2 percent on month in December, reversing the 1.4 percent increase in November. The decline was also bigger than forecast of 0.5 percent drop.

Excluding auto fuel, the retail sales volume decreased 3.3 percent, in contrast to the 1.5 percent expansion a month ago. Sales were expected to fall moderately by 0.6 percent.

Non-food store sales volumes fell 3.9 percent and food store sales volumes were down 3.1 percent. And automotive fuel sales volumes decreased 1.9 percent.

On a yearly basis, overall retail sales declined 2.4 percent after a 0.2 percent gain. Likewise, sales excluding auto fuel dropped 2.1 percent following a 0.5 percent gain.

Sales volumes fell 2.8 percent in 2023 and were their lowest level since 2018, the ONS said.

The pound edged down to 1.1003 against the franc and 1.2665 against the greenback, from an early high of 1.1037 and a 3-day high of 1.2714, respectively. The currency is poised to challenge support around 1.08 against the franc and 1.24 against the greenback.

The pound weakened to 0.8586 against the euro and 187.40 against the yen, from a previous multi-week high of 0.8550 and a multi-year high of 188.92, respectively. The currency is likely to locate support around 0.88 against the euro and 179.00 against the yen.

Looking ahead, Canada retail sales for November, U.S. existing home sales for December and University of Michigan's preliminary U.S. consumer sentiment index for January will be released in the New York session.

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