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Disappointing UK Data

The pound fell against the dollar and euro this morning, after the release of disappointing U.K. manufacturing production data, while investors awaited a key report on U.S. employment due later in the day.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics said manufacturing production fell 0.1% in February, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.2% and following a decline of 1.0% in the previous month.

On an annualized basis, manufacturing production increased by 3.3% in February, below forecasts for a 3.9% advance.

The report also showed that industrial production fell 0.7% in February, compared to forecasts for a 0.2% increase.

Meanwhile, market participants were looking ahead to the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, due later Friday, a day after the release of upbeat jobless claims data.

Separately, markets were jittery after the U.S. launched cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria, sparking concerns of an escalation in the Syrian civil war.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched.

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