Investing.com - The pound edged higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, after the release of positive U.S. data, although the minutes of the Bank of England''s April meeting limited gains.
GBP/USD hit 1.6806 during U.S. morning trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6795, inching up 0.08%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6720, the low of April 16 and resistance at 1.6840, the high of April 22.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. orders for long lasting manufactured goods rose 2.6% last month, ahead of expectations for a 2% gain.
Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, rose 2% in March, easily surpassing forecasts for a 0.6% gain.
Separately, the Labor Department said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose by 24,000 to 329,000. Despite the increase the underlying trend indicated continued strength in the labor market.
Meanwhile, sentiment on the pound remained vulnerable after the minutes of the BoE’s April meeting on Wednesday showed that the members of the Monetary Policy Committee were “uncertain” about the amount of slack remaining in the economy and also held differing views on the outlook for inflation over the medium term.
The annual rate of U.K. inflation dropped to 1.6% in March from 1.7% the previous month, the lowest level since October 2009.
The minutes also showed that MPC members voted unanimously to keep interest rates at a record low 0.5%.
Sterling was higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP edging down 0.11% to 0.8225.
Also Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the euro exchange rate is an "increasingly important factor" in monetary policy.
The exchange rate is not a policy target in itself, the ECB chief said, but the bank’s monetary policy stance could be affected by a continued appreciation in the currency.
He also said the ECB could launch a "broad-based" asset purchase program if the medium-term inflation outlook worsened.
The comments came after German research institute Ifo reported that its business climate index rose to a two-month high of 111.2 this month from 110.7 in March, ahead of expectations for 110.5.
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