Forex - Pound slips to 2-week lows after services PMI slows
Investing.com - The pound fell to two week lows against the dollar on Wednesday after data showing British service sector output expanded at a slower rate than expected last month but still posted solid growth.
GBP/USD eased 0.12% to 1.5342 from around 1.5358 ahead of the data.
Research group Markit said the services purchasing managers’ index ticked down to 56.7 from 57.2 in January. Economists had expected the index to rise to 57.5.
On the index, a level above 50.0 indicates expansion in the industry, below 50.0 indicates contraction.
“Although the rate of expansion slowed in the vast services economy, growth has picked up in both manufacturing and construction," Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compilers Markit said.
"The three PMI surveys collectively indicated a slight acceleration in economic growth for a second successive month in February as a result, consistent with GDP growth picking up to 0.6% in the first quarter."
EUR/GBP was down 0.26% to 0.7255, after falling to fresh seven-year lows of 0.7235 earlier.
The single currency found support after a report on Wednesday showed that the euro zone services sector PMI increased to 53.7 in February from a final reading of 52.7 in January.
The composite PMI, which measures services and manufacturing activity across the region, rose to a seven-month high of 53.3 in February from 52.6 in January.
The euro remained under pressure as investors turned their attention to the upcoming European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, when it was expected to announce details of its quantitative easing program, which is due to start this month.