Mortgage approvals in the U.K. rose more than expected in January, one month after hitting the lowest level in almost two years, industry data showed on Wednesday. In a report, the British Banker’s Association said that the number of new mortgages approved increased to 36,400 last month from December’s total of 35,700. Analysts had expected the number of new mortgages approved to rise to 36,200 in January. GBP/USD was trading at 1.5519 from around 1.5526 ahead of the release of the data, while EUR/GBP was at 0.7327 from 0.7326 earlier. Meanwhile, European stock markets remained modestly lower. London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.1%, the EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.25%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.15%, while Germany’s DAX slumped 0.1%.