Forex - GBP/USD remains moderately higher after U.S. data

A A A - - The pound remained moderately higher against the U.S. dollar on Friday, as demand for the greenback remained under pressure after the release of mixed U.S. economic reports.

GBP/USD hit 1.6768 during U.S. morning trade, the pair's highest since February 17; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6718, adding 0.18%.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.6584, the low of February 24 and resistance at 1.6823, the high of February 17.

Data showed that Chicago's purchasing managers' index rose to a four month-high of 59.8 in February, from a reading of 59.6 the previous month, compared to expectations for a fall to 57.0.

In a revised report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 81.6 this month, from a reading of 81.3 in January. Analysts had expected the index to edge up to 81.3 in February.

Separately, industry data showed that U.S. pending home sales rose 0.1% in January, confounding expectations for a 2% increase. Pending home sales in December were revised to a 5.8% drop from a previously estimated 8.7% decline.

The reports came after preliminary data showed that the U.S. gross domestic product rose 2.4% in the fourth quarter, slightly below expectations for a 2.5% expansion, after a 3.2% increase in the three months to September.

In the U.K., the Nationwide Building Society earlier said that U.K. house price inflation rose 0.6% in February, in line with expectations. In January, house price inflation was revised up to a 0.8% increase from a previously estimated 0.7% rise.

Sterling was lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP rising 0.44% to 0.8252.

The single currency strengthened broadly after preliminary data showed that consumer price inflation in the euro zone remained unchanged at an annualized rate of 0.8% in February, compared for expectations for a downtick to 0.7%.

A separate report showed that the unemployment rate in the single currency bloc remained unchanged at 12% in January, in line with expectations.

The positive data eased speculation that the European Central Bank could cut interest rates at its policy meeting next week. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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