Investing.com - U.K. service sector activity expanded at the slowest pace in 17-months in October, dampening optimism over the health of the economy, industry data showed on Wednesday.
In a report, market research group Markit said the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Services Purchasing Managers Index fell to 56.2 last month from a reading of 58.7 in September. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 58.5 in October.
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, "After GDP growth slowed to 0.7% in the third quarter, a 0.5% expansion is currently being signaled by the surveys for the fourth quarter."
GBP/USD was trading at 1.5903 from around 1.5934 ahead of the release of the data, while EUR/GBP was at 0.7855 from 0.7843 earlier.
Meanwhile, European stock markets remained broadly higher. London's FTSE 100 tacked on 0.55%, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.75%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.65%, while Germany's DAX climbed 0.65%.
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