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    Pound touches day’s highs after UK data, gains checked

    The pound touched the day’s highs against the dollar on Wednesday after data showing that U.K. industrial output rose at the fastest rate in nearly four years in April.

    GBP/USD hit highs of 1.4579 immediately following the release of the data, before pulling back to 1.4531.

    The Office for National Statistics said industrial production rose 2.0% in April after a 0.3% increase in March, the largest monthly increase since July 2012.

    Manufacturing output rose 2.3% after a 0.1% increase in March, in what was also the fastest monthly increase since July 2012.

    Output in the pharmaceuticals sector rose 8.6% the ONS said, the biggest month gain since February 2014.

    The pound’s gains were held in check amid ongoing uncertainty over whether Britain will remain in the European Union or not at a referendum on June 23.

    Sterling ended the previous session with gains of 0.7% against the dollar after opinion polls showing the Remain campaign with a narrow lead over the Leave campaign ahead of the vote.

    The dollar was at five-week lows against a basket of the other major currencies on Wednesday as markets continued to adjust to diminished expectations for a near term rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.11% at 93.75, the lowest level since May 5.

    Markets have pushed back expectations on the timing of the next rate hike by the U.S. central bank after Friday’s dismal employment report for May, which showed that the economy added just 38,000 jobs last month, the smallest increase since September 2010.

    A speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Monday indicated that interest rates won’t rise until uncertainty over the economic outlook is resolved.


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