Investing.com - The pound was steady against the U.S. dollar in subdued trade on Monday, as markets were jittery amid sustained concerns over the outcome of the day's final budget negotiations.
GBP/USD hit 1.6175 during European morning trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6168, easing up 0.04%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.3176, the day's low and resistance at 1.6206, the high of December 24.
Market players remained focused on developments surrounding the fiscal cliff in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1 unless Democrats and Republicans agree how to cut the deficit.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders at the White House Friday afternoon, but both sides failed to reach an agreement ahead of the looming year-end deadline.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would resume sitting on Monday to continue discussions, but there were still significant differences between the two sides.
Sentiment found some support earlier, after a report from HSBC confirmed that manufacturing activity in China expanded at the fastest pace since May 2011 in December. The final version of China's HSBC Purchasing Managers Index rose to 51.5 in December from a final reading of 50.5 in November.
Sterling was higher against the euro with EUR/GBP falling 0.24%, to hit 0.8157.
Trading volumes were expected to remain thin as many investors already closed books to lock in profit before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing the volatility.
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