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Pound gains after strong PMI data

Sterling jumped almost half a cent against the dollar on Wednesday after a survey of Britain’s dominant services sector showed activity at a three-month high in March and beating all forecasts in a Reuters poll.

The Markit/CIPS Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a closely watched gauge of Britain’s services sector, rose to 55.0 in March, up from 53.3 in February.

Sterling jumped to $1.2489 after the data, from around $1.2440 beforehand and leaving the currency up around a third of a percent on the day.

Against the euro, the pound also climbed a third of a percent, trading as strongly as 85.505 pence per euro, from 85.82 pence before the data.

British government bond futures briefly fell to a session low, down more than 20 ticks on the day, before paring losses and standing little changed from before the data at 128.23, 14 ticks below Tuesday’s close.

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