Sterling strengthens, stocks slip on upbeat retail sales

LONDON – 24 May 2018: Sterling strengthened and stocks edged lower on Thursday after data showed British retail sales jumped by its most in one-and-a half years in April.
The British currency extended gains to rise half a percent on the day at $1.3419 compared to $1.3385 earlier as retail sales volumes rose by 1.6 percent from March, well above the median forecast for a monthly 0.7 percent increase in a Reuters poll of economists.
Government bond futures extended losses by 15 ticks to hit 122.05, down 25 ticks on the day.
Britain’s FTSE 100 fell, and was down 0.1 percent after the better retail sales data boosted sterling, a negative for the index whose constituents mainly earn in foreign currencies.