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Forex - GBP/USD remains lower amid U.S. debt worries

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Investing.com - The pound remained lower against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, as sentiment on sterling remained under pressure after disappointing U.K. construction data, while U.S. debt concerns persisted.

GBP/USD hit 1.6164 during U.S. morning trade, the pair's lowest since December 31; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6159, shedding 0.59%.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.6134, the low of December 31 and resistance at 1.6274, the high of December 31.

Investors remained concerned over the longer term fiscal outlook in the U.S., with negotiations on raising the U.S. debt ceiling still to come in February.

Echoing the growing nervousness over the debt ceiling debate, a spokesman from the International Monetary Fund warned that "more remains to be done" to lower the U.S. debt load.

Sterling came under pressure earlier, after Markit research firm and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said that their U.K. construction purchasing managers' index fell to a seasonally adjusted 48.7 in December from a reading of 49.3 in November, slowing to a six-month low.

Economists had expected the index to ease up to 49.5 last month.

In the U.S., payroll processing firm ADP said earlier that non-farm private employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 215,000 in December, above expectations for an increase of 133,000.

The previous month's figure was revised up to a gain of 148,000 from a previously reported increase of 118,000.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending December 29 rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 7,000 to 355,000.

Jobless claims for the preceding week were revised up to 362,000 from a previously reported 350,000.

Sterling was steady against the euro with EUR/GBP dipping 0.02%, to hit 0.8110.

Also Thursday, official data showed that the number of unemployed people in Germany rose far less-than-expected in November, rising by 3,000 after a 5,000 increase the previous month.

Analysts had expected the number of unemployed people to rise by 10,000 in November.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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