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Forex News: Pound Advances As European Shares Gain

Pound Advances As European Shares Gain

01/04/2018 - 05:28:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound strengthened against its major opponents in early European deals on Thursday, as European shares rallied on rising oil prices and encouraging final services PMI figures from the euro area for December.

Final data from IHS Markit showed that Eurozone private sector expanded the most since early 2011, driven by a near-record expansion of manufacturing and the steepest rise in service sector for over six-and-a-half years.

The composite output index rose to 58.1 in December from 57.5 in November, marking the highest score since February 2011.

Crude prices remained firm on lingering concerns over protests in Iran, OPEC's third-biggest oil producer. At least 21 people have been killed in the anti-government unrest that began last week.

Survey data from IHS Markit showed that British service sector growth accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace in December.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers' Index, rose to 54.2 in December from 53.8 in November. Economists had expected the index to rise to 54.0.

Data from the Bank of England showed that the UK mortgage approvals rose unexpectedly in November.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases totaled 65,139 in November compared to 64,887 in October. Approvals were forecast to fall to 64,000.

The pound has been trading in a positive territory against its major rivals in the Asian session, with the exception of the euro.

The pound advanced to 1.3234 against the franc, from a low of 1.3196 hit at 5:00 pm ET. If the pound extends rise, 1.34 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The pound that closed Wednesday's deals at 1.3512 against the greenback climbed to 1.3550. Continuation of the pound's uptrend may see it challenging resistance around the 1.38 region.

The pound edged up to 152.57 against the yen, off its early low of 151.98. The next possible resistance for the pound is seen around the 154.00 area.

Survey from Nikkei showed that Japan's manufacturing sector continued to expand in December, and at an accelerated pace, with a manufacturing PMI score of 54.0.

That's up from 53.6 in November, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Reversing from an early session's low of 0.8900 against the euro, the pound rose to 0.8881. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 0.875 mark.

Looking ahead, at 8:15 am ET, ADP private payrolls for December are due.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended December 30, Markit's services PMI for December and Canada industrial product price index for November are slated for release.

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