UK retail sales bust forecasts in April, sterling surges

UK retail sales figures have busted expectations in April, which saw sterling surge higher on key pairs.

At 9.37am, sterling was up 0.45% to $1.3029. It was up 0.68% to €1.1703.

The data showed UK retail sales rose 2.3% on the month in April, while on the year it was up 4.0%.

The markets had been looking for a 1.0% monthly rise, and a 2.0% annual rise.

If volatile items were excluded, core retail sales rose 2.0% and 4.5% in April, for the month and year respectively.

The retail data rounded out a trinity of statistics that investors were watching closing -- the others being CPI inflation, average weekly earnings.