The pound appreciated against its major counterparts in the European session on Wednesday, as the nation’s business activity contracted less than expected in November and investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s November meeting for fresh clues on future rate hikes.
The S&P Global/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply composite output index registered 48.3 in November, up fractionally from 48.2 in October.
The score was expected to fall to 47.5 in November. Nonetheless, the reading remained below 50.0 for the fourth straight month suggesting contraction.
The services Purchasing Managers’ Index remained unchanged at 48.8 in November, while the reading was forecast to fall to 48.0. The manufacturing PMI also held steady at 46.2 versus the expected score of 45.8.
The Fed minutes due to be released later in the day could offer more signals on a moderation in the pace of tightening from next month.
The GBP/JPY pair appreciated to a fresh 2-week high of 168.99. The pound is likely to challenge resistance around the 174.00 level.
The GBP/USD pair touched an 8-day high of 1.1982. If the pound rises further, it may find resistance around the 1.27 level.
The GBP/CHF pair climbed to a 2-week high of 1.1368, after hitting a 2-day low of 1.1296 at 12:35 am ET. On the upside, 1.22 is likely seen as its next resistance level.
The pound firmed to near a 3-week high of 0.8625 against the euro, from a 5-day low of 0.8701 it logged at 3:15 am ET. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 0.84 level.
Looking ahead, the Fed minutes from the November 1-2 meeting are set for release at 2:00 pm ET.