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Sep 20, 4:52 AM EDT

Strong UK retail sales give pound another boost

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LONDON (AP) -- Official figures show that retail sales in Britain rose more than anticipated during August, a development that gave the pound a further boost.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that retail sales during the month rose by 1 percent. That was ahead of market expectations for a modest 0.2 percent increase.

The increase means retail sales have risen for the three months in a row, the first such sequence since the spring of 2015.

The figures contributed to a sharp spike in the value of the pound, as traders think a November interest rate increase from the Bank of England is now even more likely. The pound is up 0.5 percent on the day, at $1.3580.

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