Forex Pros - U.K. industrial order expectations improved more-than-expected in May, industry data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the Confederation of British Industry said its index of industrial order expectations improved to -2.0 in May, compared to reading of -11.0 in April.
Analysts had expected the index to decline to -5.0 in April.
On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates increasing order volume is expected, below indicates expectations are for lower volume.
Price pressures have moderated visibly this month, though they remain a concern. 24% of manufacturers surveyed predicted they would raise output prices over the coming quarter.
Commenting on the report, CBI Chief Economic Advisor Ian McCafferty said, "Although there has been talk recently that the manufacturing recovery may be starting to flag, our survey shows manufacturers are still seeing solid growth in activity."
Following the release of that data, the pound was down against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD easing down 0.02% to hit 1.6163.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were broadly higher. The FTSE 100 jumped 1%, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 1.15%, France's CAC 40 rose 1.3%, while Germany's DAX advanced 1.25%.