Investing.com - The pound remained higher against the dollar on Tuesday after data showed that activity in the U.K. construction sector slowed in February, as investor concerns over the crisis in Ukraine subsided, supporting risk appetite.
GBP/USD hit session highs of 1.6717, and was last up 0.18% to 1.6694.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6615 and resistance at 1.6767, Friday’s high.
Sterling briefly trimmed gains against the dollar after the Markit U.K. construction purchasing managers'' index fell to 62.6 in February from a reading of 64.6 in January, the highest level since August 2007. Analysts had expected the index to fall to 63.0 last month.
The report said heavy rain and flooding in parts of the country had contributed to softer construction output growth in February, especially in house building.
“Bad weather took a bite out of progress in house building, but U.K. construction remains on a strong growth trajectory in February,” senior economist at Markit David Noble said.
Job creation in the sector hit a three-month high and firms remained highly positive about their expectations for business activity over the year ahead, survey complier Markit said.
Market sentiment was boosted after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a military deployment in Ukraine is not needed now but the “possibility” still remains.
The remarks came after the Russian defense minister ordered troops engaged in military exercises close to Ukraine’s borders to return to their bases.
Market sentiment remained fragile, with Russian forces still maintaining a military presence in Ukraine’s Crimea region. Meanwhile, the U.S. was likely to impose economic sanctions on Russia later in the week, following its military incursion into Crimea.
Elsewhere, sterling was fractionally lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP edging up 0.07% to 0.8246.