The British pound is slipping on Thursday after the latest figures from the UK’s retail sector showed sales slowing in June in the run-up to immediate aftermath of the EU referendum.
Around 9:40 a.m. BST (4:40 a.m. ET) sterling is marginally lower, down by 0.3% against the dollar to $1.3169, as retail sales dropped by 0.9% in June, against an expected 0.6% fall.
That release has reiterated fears in the UK that the country’s decision to leave the European Union will have a material effect on consumer spending in the country. Although most of the data was collected prior to the EU referendum, the uncertainty surrounding the vote is likely to have had an effect on the data.
Here’s how sterling looked a few minutes ago:
Earlier in the day, the pound had gained as investors wait for the latest policy decisions from the European Central Bank, released at 12:45 p.m. BST (7:45 a.m. ET). The ECB isn’t expected to take any more policy action, in the form of a rate cut or further easing, but president Mario Draghi will likely address a litany of issues facing Europe, including uncertainty caused by the referendum, and Italy’s ongoing banking crisis.
Thursday’s fall follows a rally in sterling on Wednesday, after data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK unemployment fell to 4.9% for the three months to May, the lowest since 2005. Additionally, the number of employed people hit 31.70 million, the highest on record.