Investing.com - Service sector activity in the U.K. expanded at a faster rate than expected last month, remaining near the highest level since December 2006, industry data showed on Thursday.
In a report, market research group Markit said the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Services Purchasing Managers Index inched down to 60.3 in September from a reading of 60.5 in August.
Analysts had expected the index to fall to 60.0 last month.
On the index, a level above 50.0 indicates expansion in the industry, below 50.0 indicates contraction.
Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at survey compilers Markit said, "The buoyant data follow similar upbeat surveys of the manufacturing and construction sectors, and collectively the surveys suggest the economy will have expanded by as much as 1.2% in the third quarter; its fastest growth rate since the pre-crisis days of 2007."
Following the release of that data, the pound turned higher against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD inching up 0.02% to trade at 1.6225.
Meanwhile, European stock markets remained mixed. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.25%, the EURO STOXX 50 was little changed, France's CAC 40 retreated 0.15%, while Germany's DAX was flat.
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