The British pound found itself weakening against the US dollar after reports of UK manufacturing and industrial output data missed forecasts.
After hitting an intraday high and low of $1.248 and $1.238 respectively on Friday, GBP/USD lost 0.65% to trade at $1.241 as of 13:23 GMT. Today’s session extended Thursday’s bearish trade, and fully established a downtrend that may last for a while.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.2401, the low of March 30 and resistance at 1.2508, Thursday’s highest.
UK manufacturing, industrial outputs
On Friday, official data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that UK manufacturing output shed 0.1% in February, failing to meet the projected increase of 0.3%. This also trailed after a decline of 1.0% in January. On an annual aspect, output climbed 3.3%, but did not hit the forecast gain of 3.9%.
Meanwhile, industrial output dropped 0.7% month-on-month. This data failed to live up to an expected 0.2% rise.
Greenback rise, US labor market
As the pound weakened, the greenback began recovering from losses on US airstrike against Syria, although remaining broadly vulnerable nonetheless. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was instigated.
The airstrike came during a two-day summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which had a strong emphasis on trade and North Korea's military program. Trump had cautioned that he would be ready to act separately to address North Korea's nuclear program should China not step up to aid in the subject.
The US dollar index had an uptick of 0.20% to $100.81, keeping steady after the release of mixed US data today.
The US Labor Department showed that the economy added 98,000 jobs in March, disappointing hopes for a growth to 180,000. The US economy created 219,000 jobs previously in February, whose figure was revised from an earlier projected rise of 235,000.
Meanwhile, unemployment rate lost 4.5% last month from 4.7% in February, dismissing expectations for an unchanged reading. The report also revealed that average hourly earnings grew 0.2% in March, coinciding with forecasts.
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