Investing.com - The pound held gains against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after the release of positive U.S. data, although gains remained limited by sustained concerns over the outcome of U.S. budget talks.
GBP/USD hit 1.6147 during U.S. morning trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6134, adding 0.22%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6067, Thursday's low and resistance at 1.6202, Thursday's high.
Sentiment strengthened after industry data showed that pending home sales in the U.S. rose more-than-expected in November, rising by 1.7% after a 5% increase the previous month. Analysts had expected pending home sales to tick up 1% in November.
A separate report showed that Chicago's purchasing magaers' index rose to 51.6 in December, from a reading of 50.4 the previous month, beating expectations for a rise to 51.0.
Meanwhile, investors remained cautious as U.S. President Barack Obama was to meet congressional leaders later Friday at the White House for last-minute talks on a "fiscal cliff" deal to avoid automatic tax increases and broad spending cuts that threaten the US economy's recovery.
The meeting comes just four days before the government goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, assuming no deal is reached. Without a deal, the U.S. could fall back into recession and drag much of the world down with it.
Sterling was also higher against the euro with EUR/GBP dropping 0.34%, to hit 0.8194.
Also Friday, Markit research group said that the euro zone's retail purchasing managers' index deteriorated to 44.5 in December from a reading of 45.8 the previous month.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish official data on crude oil stockpiles and natural gas inventories.