Investing.com - The pound was lower against the dollar on Thursday as market sentiment remained subdued following economic reports showing that Chinese factory activity contracted and the recovery in the euro zone slowed this month.
GBP/USD hit 1.6636, the lowest since February 13 and was last down 0.17% to 1.6651.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6591, the low of February 13 and resistance at 1.6732, Wednesday’s high.
Safe haven demand was boosted after data showed that the preliminary reading of China’s HSBC manufacturing index fell to a seven month low of 48.3 this month, down from 49.5 in January, falling further below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.
Another report showed that private sector activity in the euro zone eased in February, as a modest pickup in sector activity was offset by a slowdown in the rate of manufacturing output.
The Markit euro zone composite output purchasing managers’ index ticked down to a two month low of 52.7 this month, but remained close to January’s 31-month high of 52.9.
Germany’s composite output index rose to a 32-month high of 56.1, indicating that the recovery in the euro zone’s largest economy is looking more sustainable.
However, France’s composite output index fell to a two-month low of 47.6 in February, as service sector activity declined at the fastest rate in nine months.
Sterling pushed higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP slipping 0.12% to 0.8224.
The dollar remained supported after Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting indicated that that the current pace of its decrease in bond purchases would remain unchanged, so long as the economy shows signs of improvement.