The pound (GBP, sterling) began the new month in the red against both the euro (EUR) and US dollar (USD) ensuring the downward trend that characterised the final days of February for the currency continues into March.
Donald Trump’s unusually statesman-like speech to Congress on Tuesday was one of catalysts for the pounds woes but worse than expected UK economic data didn’t help. The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers (PMI) index for February, although still indicating expansion, came in below expectations as domestic demand faltered while exports, benefitting from the weak pound, continued to flourish. Consumer credit growth was also down.
UK ministers are braced for defeat over the Brexit bill in the House of Lords, as peers took turns to demand a rights guarantee for EU nationals already in the UK.
Looking to the day ahead, we have the second of the three key PMI numbers for the week. Following on from yesterday’s manufacturing PMI figures, today the construction sector comes under scrutiny ahead of the key service sector tomorrow.