The pound climbed against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, as the Bank of England cooled hopes for taking the bank rate into negative territory sooner and the progress in vaccine distribution spurred hopes for a gradual economic recovery.

News that British researchers plan to use the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to find ways to reduce coronavirus variants further supported sentiment.

Investors await the Labor Department's closely watched report on the employment situation for January due later in the day.

Economists expect employment to rise by 50,000 jobs in January after a decline of 140,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 6.7 percent.

Data from Halifax and IHS Markit showed that UK house prices declined for the first time in six months in January.

House prices fell 0.3 percent on month in January after remaining unchanged in December. This was the first decline since May and the biggest fall since April last year. Economists had forecast prices to climb 0.3 percent.

The pound advanced to a 3-day high of 1.3713 against the greenback, off its early low of 1.3658. The pound may locate resistance around the 1.42 level.

Reversing from an early low of 144.11 against the yen, the pound firmed to near a 1-year high of 144.51. If the pound rises further, 148.00 is seen as its next resistance level.

The pound jumped to near 1-year highs of 1.2373 against the franc and 0.8738 against the euro, from its early lows of 1.2348 and 0.8753, respectively. On the upside, 1.27 and 0.85 are possibly seen as the next resistance for the pound against the franc and the euro, respectively.

Looking ahead, U.S. and Canadian trade data for December, U.S. and Canadian jobs data for January, U.S. consumer credit for December and Canada Ivey PMI for January will be out in the New York session.