Sterling steady, eyes on data, BoE's Lomax speech
Sterling held steady against the dollar on Tuesday, taking a breather after hitting a one-week high recently as investors awaited a barrage of data due this week for fresh signs of the health of the British economy.
The latest retail survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), due at 1100 GMT, will give a sense of how consumers have held up in February.
At the same time, Bank of England deputy governor Rachel Lomax is due to speak at the Institute of Economic Affairs conference.
"She might dwell a little more on what is happening in terms of credit squeeze, bank lending and liquidity and if she does, it just might lend a somewhat dovish angle and on that basis, we could see sterling a little bit weaker," said Daragh Maher, senior FX strategist at Calyon.
At 0837 GMT, the pound was little changed against the dollar at $1.9664, off Friday's one-week peak of around $1.9708.
The generally softer euro slipped 0.1 percent to 75.24 pence, after earlier touching a one-week low of 75.16 pence and sterling eased 0.1 percent to 212.35 yen.
"The news flow on the UK economy is still pretty downbeat, and you've got the wobbles in the banking sector as well. So the bigger picture is still pretty negative. But by the same token, a lot is already in the price, so the question is what do we get that changes the view," Maher added.
Technically, sterling looked set to slip, although in the near term it might trade in a tight range, said Commerzbank Corporates & Markets analyst, Andy Hart.
"Shorter term we continue to view that the risk remains on the downside for sterling, but with the daily RSI (relative strength indicator) momentum oscillator indicating the market is neutral to negative, we must allow for further sideways erosion/minor topping phase before lower resumes," he said in a report.
The CBI data is expected to signal steady growth in retail sales in February, indicating that consumer demand is holding up despite low confidence and fears about the future of the British economy.
Sourced by Reuters.