U.K. retail sales slid more than expected in the month of January from December, their biggest drop since April 2012, but the year-on-year figure showed a steady rise for the second consecutive month.
Monthly figures showed sales slipped 1.5 percent below forecasts for a drop of 1.0 percent in a Reuters poll. For the three months to January retail sales saw their strongest yearly rise since December 2004 however, and compared with the same period last year, the figure was up 4.3 percent.
Sterling rebounded sharply after the news, climbing to session highs of $1.6681 after trading near $1.663.
(Read More: UK unemployment rose at end of 2013)