Pound Gains as Sales Stoke Optimism in Pre-Referendum Economy

  • Retail sales beat forecasts, rebounding from contraction
  • Sterling climbs to strongest in more than 3 months versus euro

The pound rose for a fourth day after retail-sales data beat estimates.

Sterling climbed to its strongest level in more than three months versus the euro, having surged Wednesday as polls signaled public opinion is shifting toward remaining in the European Union before a June 23 referendum.

The volume of goods sold in U.K. stores and online rose 1.3 percent in April, more than double the 0.6 percent increase forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists and after shrinking the month before. Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Gertjan Vlieghe is due to give a speech at the London Business School in London later Thursday.

The pound gained 0.4 percent to 76.54 pence per euro as of 9:40 a.m. London, touching the strongest level since Feb. 4. It climbed 1.8 percent on Wednesday. Sterling rose 0.4 percent to $1.4655, leaving it 2 percent higher this week.

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