Stable day for Sterling

5 April, 2018

Rob Bastin

Yesterday was a fairly stable day for the pound, trading within a 0.5% range against most major currencies. Sterling dropped in the morning after results of the latest Construction PMI figures for the UK in the month of March. Figures were hit hard by the ‘Beast from the East’ as much of the construction industry seized up last month due to bad weather, resulting in a contraction in PMI of just 47, down from 51.4 (growth) in February. The Construction sector continues to be the weakest in the UK and is weighing on overall GDP growth.

This morning at 9:30 am we have the final PMI reading for the UK but this time for the larger and more important sector of Services. Last month this sector posted a growth figure of 54.5 and analysts are now expected a slightly slower growth figure of 54. Services PMI figures for the Euro-zone will also be announced today at 9 am, followed by their Retail Sales at 10 am.

Elsewhere yesterday there was a busy afternoon of data across the pond, with Services and non-manufacturing PMI both missing expectations, although still showing positive growth in these sectors. These figures seemed to outweigh the stronger employment change figure as the greenback fell against both the Euro and Pound in afternoon trading. Today will likely be driven by UK Services data ahead of tomorrow’s big US release with Non-farm payrolls and unemployment rate. This release can cause volatility across most major currencies so if you not fancy taking the risk, you can still buy Euros close to the best levels in 10 months, and US Dollars are only 2 cents off the best rates since the referendum in 2016.