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Forex News: Pound Advances As UK Construction PMI Hits 5-month

Pound Advances As UK Construction PMI Hits 5-month High

05/02/2018 - 06:53:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound strengthened against its major counterparts in the European session on Wednesday, after a data showed that U.K. construction sector rebounded in April from the weather-related disruptions seen in March.

Survey data from IHS Markit showed that the Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.5 in April from a 20-month low of 47.0 in March. The latest reading was the highest since November 2017 and well above the forecast of 50.5.

Meanwhile, European shares advanced in the wake of strong earnings results.

All eyes are on the Fed policy decision, due at 2:00 pm ET. Although the Fed is unlikely to hike rate, investors focus on the Fed statement for any indications about faster rate hikes in response to signs of higher inflation.

The currency weakened against its major counterparts in the Asian session.

The pound advanced to 1.3664 against the greenback, from near a 4-month low of 1.3580 hit at 2:10 am ET. The pound is seen challenging resistance around the 1.38 area.

Having fallen to a new 3-week low of 1.3528 against the franc at 2:15 am ET, the pound reversed direction and climbed to 1.3594. Next key resistance for the pound is likely seen around the 1.38 level.

The pound strengthened to 150.08 against the yen, up from a low of 149.17 hit at 2:00 am ET. The pound is likely to find resistance around the 152.00 level.

Data from Cabinet Office showed that Japan's consumer confidence weakened unexpectedly in April after remaining stable in the previous month.

The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index dropped to an eight-month low of 43.6 in April from 44.3 in March.

Reversing from an early 1-1/2-month low of 0.8831 against the euro, the pound climbed to 0.8785. The pound is poised to challenge resistance around the 0.86 mark.

Final data from IHS Markit showed that Eurozone manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace at the start of the second quarter but slightly better than the initially estimated rate.

The final Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a 13-month low of 56.2 in April from 56.6 in March. The flash reading was 56.0.

Looking ahead, at 8:15 am ET, ADP private sector employment data for April is scheduled for release.

The Federal Reserve's interest rate announcement is due at 2:00 pm ET. Economists widely expect the Fed to keep federal funds rate unchanged at 1.50 - 1.75 percent.

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