Forex Pros - The pound was down against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, after worse-than-expected data on U.K. service sector activity dampened expectations for a an interest rate hike by the Bank of England in the coming months.
GBP/USD hit 1.6256 during European late afternoon trade, the daily low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6277, shedding 0.29%.
Cable was likely to find short-term support at 1.6213, Wednesday's low and resistance at 1.6343, Wednesday's high and a 13-month high.
Earlier in the day, data showed that growth in the U.K. service sector slowed sharply in February after January's weather-related rebound, as companies recorded job losses for the fifth month running.
The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers index fell to 52.6 from January's eight-month high of 54.5, outstripping expectations for a decline to 53.5.
The report contrasted with surprisingly strong data for manufacturing and construction earlier in the week.
A manufacturing PMI survey on Tuesday showed growth held at a record high in February, while data on Wednesday showed construction activity grew at its fastest pace in eight months.
The pound was also down against the euro, with EUR/GBP soaring 0.86% to hit 0.8565.
Also Thursday, a government report showed that U.S. jobless claims fell to a two-and-a-half-year low last week.
The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of people claiming initial jobless benefits in the week ending February 26 unexpectedly dropped to a seasonally adjusted 368K, confounding expectations for an increase to 400K.
A separate report showed that service sector activity in the U.S. grew in line with expectations in February, expanding for the 15th consecutive month.