Investing.com - The pound pushed lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, as the release of strong U.S. home sales data pushed the greenback broadly higher.
GBP/USD hit 1.6622 during U.S. morning trade, the pair''s lowest since Monday; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6635, shedding 0.27%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6584, the low of February 24 and resistance at 1.6742, the high of February 17.
The greenback strengthened broadly after the Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose 9.6% to 468,000 units in January, the largest increase in five-and-a-half years. Analysts had expected new home sales to fall 1% to 400,000.
New home sales in December were revised up to 427,000 units from a previously reported 414,000 units.
Separately, investors were looking ahead to testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday after a recent spate of disappointing U.S. economic indicators raised some doubts over whether the central bank will maintain the current pace of reductions to its stimulus program.
Earlier Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics said U.K. gross domestic product increased by 0.7% in the three-month to December, unrevised from the preliminary estimate and in line with forecasts.
On a year-over-year basis, the U.K. economy expanded by 2.7% in the fourth quarter, down slightly from the preliminary estimate for 2.8% growth.
The largest contributors to fourth quarter growth were household spending, business investment and net trade, the ONS said. Business investments were revised up 8.5% from the same period a year earlier.
The pound’s gains were held in check after two members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee reiterated Wednesday that the bank is planning to keep rates on hold for some time.
David Miles said recent falls in inflation meant there was less pressure to raise borrowing costs, while the bank’s chief economist Spenser Dale said it was not planning to raise rates any time soon.
Sterling was higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP down 0.28% to 0.8216.
Also Wednesday, data showed that Germany’s forward looking Gfk consumer sentiment index ticked up to a seven-year high of 8.5 for March from 8.3 in February, indicating that the recovery in the euro area’s largest economy is deepening.
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