Pound dollar exchange rate: Sterling cracks $1.30 mark for the first time since September

Sterling has now added around 6.5 per cent since the start of the year against the dollar, but is still trading around 12.5 per cent lower than before June’s Brexit vote

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The Independent Online

The pound cracked the $1.30 mark for the first time in almost eight months on Thursday, after figures showed that more shoppers hit the high street in April helping retail sales to rebound strongly.

Immediately after the data was released, the pound added around 0.5 per cent to trade at $1.3036, breaking through the psychologically important $1.30 mark for the first time since 30 September.

The currency finished the day at £1.3004, up 0.27 per cent.

Retail sales jumped by 2.3 per cent in April, against forecasts of a 1 per cent increase after they fell 1.8 per cent in March.

The pound’s strength against the dollar has been accentuated by weakness in the US currency in recent days, stemming from political uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration.

On Wednesday, the dollar index, which measures the buck’s strength against a basket of other major currencies, slumped to a six-month low on reports that Donald Trump had asked former FBI director James Comey to end an investigation into National Security Adviser  Michael Flynn during an Oval Office visit back in February.

Jake Trask, FX research director at payment provider OFX, said that the pound could continue to rise against the dollar depending on more news coming out of the US.

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“The dollar has been badly affected by the recent news from Washington,” he said.

Sterling has now added around 6.5 per cent since the start of the year against the dollar, but is still trading around 12.5 per cent lower since before June’s Brexit vote, after which it tumbled to a more than three-decade low.

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