The pound was set for a weekly advance versus the dollar as investors bet the U.S. debt ceiling debate will prompt the Federal Reserve to maintain asset purchases that tend to weaken a currency.
Sterling also headed for a weekly advance against the euro as data showed the U.K. economy is gaining momentum. U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a measure ending the 16-day government shutdown and extending the nation’s borrowing authority until early next year, averting a default. The U.K. Debt Management Office is scheduled to auction 2 billion pounds ($3.23 billion) of bills.
The pound was little changed at $1.6180 as of 7:41 a.m. London time after climbing 1.3 percent yesterday, the biggest gain since Sept. 18. It has risen 1.4 percent versus the U.S. currency this week, the most since the period ended Sept. 13. Sterling was also little changed at 84.58 pence per euro, having strengthened 0.4 percent this week.
Data yesterday showed U.K. retail sales rose more than analysts forecast last month, following an Oct. 16 report that showed jobless claims fell in September by the most in 16 years.
The pound appreciated 5.2 percent in the past six months, the best performer among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The euro strengthened 4 percent, while the dollar weakened 1.3 percent.
U.K. government bonds lost 3.2 percent this year through yesterday, according to Bloomberg World Bond Indexes. Treasuries dropped 2.2 percent and German securities declined 2 percent.
Chart: WorldWideMarkets Alpha Trader