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Forex News: Pound Dips As U.K. Coronavirus Death Toll Mounts,

Pound Dips As U.K. Coronavirus Death Toll Mounts, Construction Activity Shrinks

05/06/2020 - 07:49:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound lost ground against its major counterparts in the European session on Wednesday, as the UK construction sector activity collapsed to an all-time low in April and the UK surpassed Italy in reporting the highest death toll from coronavirus in Europe.

Survey data from IHS Markit showed that the UK construction sector contracted at the sharpest pace since the survey began in 1997 amid site closures due to the coronavirus, or covid-19, pandemic.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 8.2 in April from 39.3 in March. A score below 50 indicates contraction. The expected score was 22.0.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday that the U.K. death toll from the coronavirus outbreak mounted to 32,313.

ONS said that more than 7,000 people had died in England and Wales in the week to April 24, raising the total deaths to 32,313.

The pound weakened to near a 2-week low of 1.2358 against the dollar, after rising to 1.2450 at 8:00 pm ET. The pound is seen finding support around the 1.19 level.

The pound was down at 131.43 against the yen, its lowest level since March 26. Next key support for the pound is seen around the 125.00 level.

The U.K. currency edged down to 1.2051 against the franc, reversing from a high of 1.2114 set at 3:15 am ET. The currency may possibly challenge support around the 1.14 level, if it drops further.

The pound slid to 0.8734 against the euro, following an advance to 0.8698 at 3:15 am ET. The pound is likely to face support around the 0.90 level.

Final survey results from IHS Markit showed that the euro area private sector experienced a record downturn in April due to the severe disruption caused by the coronavirus, or covid-19, pandemic.

The composite output index slid to a new series low of 13.6 from March's 29.7. The flash score was 13.5.

Looking ahead, U.S. ADP private payrolls data for April is due out at 8:15 am ET.

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