Investing.com - The pound held steady against the U.S. dollar on Friday, trading close to four-and-a-half year highs after the release of positive U.K. retail sales data, although concerns over mounting tensions in Ukraine weighed on market sentiment.
GBP/USD hit 1.6831 during European morning trade, the pair''s highest since Wednesday; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6807, inching up 0.03%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6718, the low of April 11 and resistance at 1.6842, the high of April 17 and a four-and-a-half year high.
Official data showed that U.K. retail sales rose 0.1% in March, beaing expectations for a 0.4% fall. Retail sales in February were revised down to a 1.3% increase from a previously estimated 1.7% gain.
A separate report showed that U.K. mortgage approvals rose by 45,900 last month, compared to expectations for an increase of 48,900. February''s mortgage approvals were revised down to a 47,200 rise from a previously estimated 47,600 increase.
Meanwhile, investors remained cautious after Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday. In response, Russia launched army drills near the border, sparking fears its troops would invade.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was drawing closer to imposing more sanctions on Moscow.
Sterling was little changed against the euro, with EUR/GBP easing up 0.02% to 0.8233.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release revised data on consumer sentiment.
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