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Forex - Sterling dips as U.K. construction output slows

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The pound dipped against the dollar on Thursday after data showed that growth in the U.K. construction sector slowed slightly in March ahead of next month's elections, but confidence jumped to a nine year high.

GBP/USD was at 1.4813, down slightly from around 1.4837 before the report.

Research firm Markit said the U.K. construction purchasing managers' index ticked down to 57.8 in March from February's four-month high of 60.1. Economists had expected the index decline to 59.5.

All three areas of construction activity lost momentum in March, with a marked slowdown in civil engineering growth. Markit said uncertainty related to the forthcoming general election had encouraged some clients to delay spending decisions.

Construction firms added to payrolls at their slowest since December 2013, but the report also noted a strong degree of positive sentiment towards the outlook, with confidence about the next 12 months jumping to a nine-year high.

The pound remained lower against the euro following the report, with EUR/GBP at 0.7304.

The euro was boosted by weakness in the dollar ahead of Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for March, after data on Wednesday showed that U.S. private sector hiring slowed last month.

Another report showed that U.S. factory activity also slowed in March, fuelling concerns that the Federal Reserve could push back an expected interest rate hike to September from midyear.

The euro's gains were held in check as a deadlock over the Greek government's reform plans continued.

Athens will run out of cash later this month unless it can reach a compromise with its creditors on a program of economic reforms in time to unlock more bailout funds.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down to 98.11.

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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.


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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