Forexpros â€“ The pound held gains against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, following the release of a flurry of weaker-than-expected U.S. data, as robust corporate earnings lifted equity markets and bolstered demand for higher-yielding assets.
GBP/USD hit 1.5720 during U.S. morning trade, the pairâ€™s highest since July 2; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.5707, gaining 0.35%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.5635, the session low and resistance at 1.5776, the high of June 20.
Investor confidence was buoyed by upbeat corporate earnings, which lifted global equities markets and boosted demand for riskier assets.
In the U.S., reports showing that existing home sales fell unexpectedly in June, while jobless claims rose more-than-forecast last week fuelled concerns over the outlook for the economy.
The National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales fell by 5.4% to a seasonally adjusted 4.37 million units in June, defying expectations for a modest increase to 4.63 million units.
The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance last week rose by 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, compared to expectations for an increase to 365,000.
The previous weekâ€™s figure was revised up to 352,000 from a previously reported 350,000.
A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region contracted for the third consecutive month in July.
Meanwhile, market participants were looking ahead to the outcome of a German vote to approve the countryâ€™s part in bailout package for Spanish banks.
Earlier Thursday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble warned that Spain’s government should be ultimately responsible for European aid to its banks.
Sterling rose to a fresh three-and-a-half year high against the euro, with EUR/GBP dropping 0.59% to 0.7799.
The pound had touched a session low against the greenback earlier after official data showed that U.K. retail sales rose less-than-expected in June, inching up 0.1%, disappointing expectations for a 0.6% gain, as wet weather hurt demand for outdoor products.
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