Reuters
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson shops at a bakery during a visit to Doncaster Market, in Doncaster, Britain, September 13, 2019.

The British pound came under pressure Wednesday as inflation data grew softer than forecast in August.

U.K. consumer prices slowed to 1.7% year-over-year growth in August from 2.1% in July, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday. Economists polled by FactSet expected a 1.9% rise. Core CPI slowed to 1.5% from 1.9%.

That sent the pound GBPUSD, -0.2880%  lower vs. the dollar and the euro GBPEUR, -0.0974%  .

Andreas Steno Larsen, global currency and fixed income strategist at Nordea Markets, said the Bank of England nonetheless can’t take action because the possibility of a hard Brexit which could send prices spiking after Oct. 31.

The Bank of England meets to decide on interest rates on Thursday, with expectations of no change.

The U.K. FTSE 100 UKX, +0.25%  meanwhile increased 0.3% to 7342.16.

Action was muted as traders waited for the key U.S. interest-rate decision, due at 2 p.m. Eastern , which is after the close of U.K. trading.

B&Q and Castorama owner Kingfisher KGF, -2.36%  was active, losing over 1%, as the home improvement retailer reported a 6% drop in first-half underlying profit and said it would be taking an additional cost to clearing inventory.