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Forex News: Pound Firms As Virus Worries Recede, U.K. Services

Pound Firms As Virus Worries Recede, U.K. Services PMI Beats Forecasts

02/05/2020 - 06:05:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound appreciated against its major counterparts in early European deals on Wednesday, as European shares jumped on reports of a breakthrough in coronavirus treatment and as the nation's service sector activity expanded more-than-expected in January.

Survey results from IHS Markit and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed that the UK service sector rebounded at a faster-than-estimated pace in January driven by rising client demand after general election.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.9 in January from 50.0 in December. The reading exceeded the flash estimate of 52.9.

The sector expanded for the first time since last August and also at the fastest rate in 16 months as the headwind from delayed decision-making had lifted since the general election and helped to deliver a return to business activity growth in January.

A leading British scientist has made a significant breakthrough in the race for a coronavirus vaccine by reducing a part of the normal development time from "two to three years to just 14 days", Sky news reported.

The vaccine will be too late for this current outbreak but it will be crucial if there is another one, Sky said.

The pound dropped against its most major opponents in the previous session.

The pound advanced to a 2-day high of 0.8434 against the euro, from yesterday's closing value of 0.8476. If the pound rises further, 0.83 is seen as its next resistance level.

The pound climbed to 2-day highs of 1.3070 versus the dollar and 1.2709 against the franc, from its early lows of 1.3009 and 1.2603, respectively. The next possible resistance for the pound is seen around 1.32 versus the dollar and 1.29 against the franc.

The pound spiked up to near a 2-week high of 143.38 against the yen, from Tuesday's closing quote of 142.71. Further rally may take the pound to a resistance around the 146.00 area.

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

U.S. and Canadian trade data for December, ISM non-manufacturing composite index and Markit's U.S. final services PMI for January are set for release in the New York session.

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