* Graphic: Sterling and gilt yields bit.ly/2dgAXn1
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv
(Updates story, adds quote)
By Ritvik Carvalho
LONDON, Feb 24 Sterling slid from a 2-week high
to the dollar on Friday but was still on track for its strongest
weekly showing in a month as concerns about politics in the
United States and Europe took investors' focus off immediate
Besides the Brexit bill making its way through Britain's
upper house of parliament, a week largely lacking in major
domestic political developments and new economic numbers has
given the pound some respite.
The pound fell 0.5 percent against the dollar to $1.2496 by
1619 GMT, having touched a 15-day high of $1.2570 in morning
trade in London. It was down nearly half a percent at 84.59
pence per euro.
For the week, that still gave it a 0.8 percent gain against
the basket of currencies that measures its broader strength
"Most of the action has been on the dollar crosses," said
Credit Agricole's head of FX strategy Valentin Marinov.
"The big support for the pound has been the revisiting of
last year's lows on euro-sterling. There are some people citing
favourable technicals for the pound but I would be cautious."
A number of major banks have predicted another round of
selling of sterling if talks on leaving the European Union get
going next month, as planned by the government.
But a number of technical analysts have said this week that
chart readings suggest even odds of a break up or down.
"Sterling may well continue to recover in coming weeks as
long as market players focus elsewhere," said Richard
Falkenhall, a strategist with Swedish bank SEB.
"While we see good reasons to maintain a negative view on
sterling over the medium term, the political uncertainty created
by upcoming elections in several euro zone countries this year
and the political situation in the US currently seem to
overshadow the troubles we believe will be facing the UK economy
The week was not entirely devoid of Brexit developments.
On Thursday, sources close to the Scottish government said
the devolved administration in Edinburgh was increasingly
confident it could win a new independence referendum and that it
is considering calling one next year.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives secured a
landmark victory in a parliamentary by-election on Friday,
boosting her hand ahead of the negotiations as her rivals
suffered damaging poll setbacks.
"The prime minister will get what she wants and proceed with
Article 50 next month, but the data has turned weaker and that
doesn't bode well going forward," Marinov said.
"With that in mind, you would think about fading any rallies
in the pound but we are also cautious that a lot of negatives
are already in the price."
British banks approved the most mortgages in a year last
month and consumer borrowing saw some of its fastest growth of
the past decade, industry data showed on Friday, contrasting
with earlier signs of slowing momentum.
(Editing by Alison Williams)