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Forex News: Pound Spikes Up As U.K. Services Activity Accelerates

Pound Spikes Up As U.K. Services Activity Accelerates To 8-month High

07/04/2018 - 06:51:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound strengthened against its major opponents in the European session on Wednesday, as U.K. service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in eight months in June driven by strong growth in new work.

Survey data from IHS Markit showed that the Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 55.1 in June from 54.0 in May. Economists had forecast the index to remain unchanged at 54.0.

The score has remained above the 50.0 no-change mark for the twenty-third consecutive month. Moreover, the latest reading signaled the strongest rate of expansion since October 2017.

Data from the British Retail Consortium showed that the United Kingdom shop prices fell 0.5 percent on year in June, following the 1.1 percent annual drop in May.

Food inflation was up 1.2 percent on year in June - unchanged from the May reading. Non-food prices fell an annual 1.6 percent, moderating from the 2.5 percent tumble in the previous month.

Meanwhile, sentiment dampened ahead of the July 6 deadline, when U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are due to take effect.

The currency held steady against its major counterparts in the Asian session, with the exception of the greenback.

The pound rose back to 1.3217 against the greenback, not far from a weekly high of 1.3228 seen at 2:45 am ET. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 1.34 level.

The pound climbed to an 8-day high of 1.3122 against the franc and a weekly high of 0.8802 against the euro, reversing from its early lows of 1.3079 and 0.8841, respectively. The next possible resistance for the pound is seen around 1.33 against the franc and 0.86 against the euro.

The U.K. currency edged up to 146.08 against the yen, from Tuesday's closing value of 145.82. If the pound extends rise, 148.00 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The latest survey from Nikkei showed that Japan services sector continued to expand in June, and at a faster rate, with a PMI score of 51.4.

That's up from 51.0 in May, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The U.S. market is closed for Independence Day holiday.

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