Pound Loses Gains Caused by Surprisingly Good Construction PMI

The Great Britain pound was lifted intraday by a surprisingly good report about the construction sector. By now, though, the currency has trimmed its gains, losing them outright against some rivals, like the US dollar and the Japanese yen.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 52.5 in April from the March’s 20-month low of 47.0. The actual value was not only above the neutral 50.0 level, meaning that Britain’s construction industry turned from contraction to expansion, but was also far above the 50.5 level predicted by analysts. Despite that, the report was not particularly optimistic, saying:

While temporary factors make it difficult to gauge underlying momentum, the recovery from March’s low point is somewhat underwhelming and provides an indication that the construction sector has been treading water at the very best in recent months.

Meanwhile, the Shop Price Index reported by British Retail Consortium fell by 1.0% in April from a year ago, showing the same rate of deflation as in March.

Now, traders wait for the monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve due to release at 18:00 GMT. While no changes to the policy are expected, the wording of Fed’s statement can have a tremendous impact on the market.

GBP/USD was up from 1.3611 to 1.3666 intraday but retreated to 1.3602 by 16:45 GMT today. EUR/GBP traded at 0.8793 after rallying from 0.8806 to 0.8831 earlier. GBP/JPY hanged at about its opening level 149.56 following the earlier rally to the daily high of 150.21.

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