Investing.com

Investing.com - The pound firmed against the dollar on Wednesday though it gave back gains after data revealed private-sector hiring in the U.S. appeared to be gaining steam in March.



In U.S. trading on Wednesday, GBP/USD was trading at 1.6634, up 0.03%, up from a session low of 1.6622 and off a high of 1.6664.



Cable was likely to find support at 1.6612, Monday''s low, and resistance at 1.6684, Monday''s high.



In the U.K. earlier, the pound rose even after the Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply construction purchasing managers'' index ticked down to 62.5 last month from 62.6 in February.



Economists had expected the index to rise to 63.0 in March, however, improving demand and more favorable business conditions lifted business optimism to its highest level since January 2007, as firms hired staff at their fastest pace in four months.



Residential construction saw the fastest rate of expansion, rebounding after weather related disruptions in February.



Also on Wednesday, U.K. mortgage lender Nationwide reported that home prices slowed for a third straight month in March, though they did log their biggest annual increase in almost four years.



Home prices rose 0.4% last month, the slowest pace of monthly growth since June 2013, slowing from an upwardly revised 0.7% increase in February.



On a year-over-year basis, however, house prices were 9.5% higher in March after a 9.4% increase in the 12 months to February, the largest annual gain since May 2010.



Data out of the U.S. supported the dollar and chipped away at the greenback''s gains.



Payroll processing firm ADP reported earlier that the U.S. private sector added 191,000 jobs in March, just shy of expectations for a 195,000 reading.



February’s figure was revised up to a gain of 178,000 from a previously reported increase of 139,000, and the overall report bolstered the dollar by fueling hopes Friday''s official nonfarm payrolls data will come in solid.



Separately, the Commerce Department said U.S. factory orders jumped 1.6% in February, the biggest increase since September, ahead of forecasts for a 1.2% rise.



The data strengthened the greenback by keeping expectations on track for the Federal Reserve to continue winding monetary stimulus programs this year.



Elsewhere, sterling was up against the euro, with EUR/GBP down 0.24% at 0.8276, and up against the yen, with GBP/JPY up 0.12% at 172.60.



On Thursday, the U.K. is also to release data on service sector growth, while the Bank of England is to announce its benchmark interest rate.



The U.S. is to publish data on the trade balance and its weekly report on initial jobless claims.



Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management is to publish a report service-sector activity.











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