The pound declined against its major counterparts in the European session on Tuesday, as investors awaited U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech later in the day for additional clues about the outlook for further rate hikes.

Powell will deliver a speech at the Economic Club of Washington DC at 12:40 pm ET.

Comments from Fed policymakers indicating the likelihood of further rate hikes triggered growth concerns.

Data from the British Retail Consortium and accountancy firm KPMG showed that UK retail sales grew at a slower pace in January as Christmas cheer subsided.

Like-for-like sales increased 3.9 percent on a yearly basis in January and overall retail sales grew 4.2 percent.

The pound touched 1.1972 against the greenback, its lowest level since January 6. The pound may find support near the 1.18 level.

The pound dropped to 0.8939 against the euro, after rising to a 5-day high of 0.8908 in early deals. The pound is seen finding support around the 0.92 level.

The pound depreciated to near a 3-month low of 1.1095 against the franc and a 4-day low of 158.12 against the yen, off its early highs of 1.1168 and 158.58, respectively. The pound is poised to target support around 1.09 against the franc and 153.00 against the yen.

Looking ahead, U.S. and Canadian trade data and U.S. consumer credit for December will be published in the New York session.

At 12:40 pm ET, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will participate in a moderated discussion at the Economic Club of Washington DC.

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