The pound edged lower against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after the release of downbeat U.K. economic growth data and a more positive report on the country’s current account, while investors eyed upcoming U.S. economic reports.
GBP/USD hit 1.2447 during European morning trade, the session low the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.2465, down 0.10%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.2401, Thursday’s low and resistance at 1.2598, the high of March 28.
The U.K. Office for National Statistics said its final reading of fourth quarter gross domestic product was an increase of 0.7%, in line with expectations and a previous estimate.
Year-on-hear however, GDP rose 1.9% in the fourth quarter, below expectations and a previous estimate for a growth rate of 2.0%.
A separate report showed that the U.K. current account deficit narrowed to £12.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 from £25.7 billion in the third quarter, whose figure was revised from a previous estimate of 25.5 billion.
Analysts had expected the current account deficit to narrow to just £16.0 billion in the last quarter.
The pound has been surprisingly resilient this week, as British Prime Minister Theresa May formally began Brexit proceedings on Wednesday, launching a two-year negotiation process before the divorce comes into effect in late March 2019.
Meanwhile, sentiment on the greenback became more vulnerable ahead of a string of U.S. economic reports due later in the day, although upbeat data released earlier in the week still lent some support.
Markets were also jittery as U.S. President Trump was scheduled later Friday to sign executive orders aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits and clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti subsidy duties on imports.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross specified that one of the orders directs a major review of the causes of U.S. trade deficits, including “currency misalignment.”
Sterling was lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP rising 0.25% to 0.8583.
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