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Forex News: Pound Advances As UK Services Growth Remains Strong

Pound Advances As UK Services Growth Remains Strong

10/03/2018 - 06:00:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound climbed against its major counterparts in the early European session on Wednesday, as a data showed that British service sector activity maintained strong growth momentum in September.

Survey data from IHS Markit showed that the services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 53.9 in September from 54.3 in August. The index was forecast to fall to 54.0.

However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

European stocks rebounded after reports that Italy plans to reduce budget deficit by 2.0 percent in 2021.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the government estimates a budget deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP for 2019, and then slash it to 2.2 percent for 2020.

Italian bond yields fell after the report, helping lift banking stocks.

The currency has been trading higher against its major counterparts in the Asian session, with the exception of the euro.

The pound advanced to 0.8885 against the euro, after having dropped to a 6-day low of 0.8918 at 10:30 pm ET. The pound is likely test resistance around the 0.87 area.

Survey data from IHS Markit showed that the euro area private sector expanded at the slowest pace in four months in September on weak manufacturing activity.

The final composite output index dropped to 54.1 in September from 54.5 in August and slightly below the flash estimate of 54.2.

The pound climbed to 1.3017 against the greenback, compared to 1.2979 hit late New York on Tuesday. If the pound rises further, 1.32 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The U.K. currency edged up to 1.2832 against the Swiss franc, from a low of 1.2763 seen at 5:45 pm ET. The pound is poised to find resistance around the 1.32 mark.

The pound reversed from an early low of 147.27 against the yen, reaching as high as 148.22. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 151.00 level.

The latest survey from Nikkei showed that Japanese services sector continued to expand in September, but at a sharply slower pace, with a two-year low score of 50.2.

That's down from 51.5 in August, although it remains barely above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Looking ahead, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin will give a speech titled "The Outlook for Tomorrow: Five Numbers to Watch" at the West Virginia Economic Outlook Conference at 8:05 am ET.

At 8:15 am ET, ADP private sector employment data for September is scheduled for release.

In the New York session, U.S. ISM non-manufacturing composite index for September will be out.

At 2:00 pm ET, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard speaks about the payment system at the FedPayments Improvement Community Forum in Chicago.

Fifteen minutes later, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester will speak at the Community Banking in the 21st Century conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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