July 20, 2017 / 7:49 AM / 7 months ago

Sterling falls below $1.30 ahead of retail sales numbers, down 0.3 percent on day

* 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

By Patrick Graham

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Sterling fell back below $1.30 on Thursday, nerves over British retail sales numbers due later coming on top of data this week that has seen any expectations for a rise in interest rates this year slide.

The main measure of spending by British consumers fell by more than expected a month ago and investors worry the numbers will fall short of even the minimal rise backed by economists’ consensus forecasts.

The pound slid 0.3 percent as London trading got going, dipping to $1.2985 and 88.58 pence per euro.

“There’s clearly some concern in the market this morning,” said a trader with one international bank. “The pound has just dipped and we may see some more volatility into the numbers.”

The pound rose above $1.31 to 10-month highs earlier this week as the dollar fell across the board, and as investors bet the 25-basis-point cut in British interest rates after last year’s vote for Brexit could be reversed in the coming months.

But BoE policymakers have made it clear that any monetary tightening will be data-dependent, and Tuesday’s below-forecast consumer price numbers therefore fed doubt that rates could be tightened in the coming months.

Tuesday’s inflation numbers showed consumer prices rose by 2.6 percent in June compared with a year earlier, down from a nearly four-year high of 2.9 percent in May. (Writing by Patrick Graham, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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