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UK economy grew 0.5% in the fourth quarter

The pound rose today as traders looked to fourth-quarter economic growth numbers due later to see if Britain’s economy is proving more resilient than expected, which could help sterling extend its recent rally.

Sterling gained 0.7 percent to trade at $1.4236, but below the $1.4346 mark it notched up on Thursday when a broad dollar sell-off intensified.

The pound has enjoyed a strong rally this year and some of the world’s biggest investors have bought into the notion that sterling can move higher on the back of hopes Britain will secure itself more favourable terms when leaving the European Union and a better-than-expected domestic economic performance.

The economic data, released at 0930 GMT, was expected to show Britain’s economy grew at 0.4 percent in the three months to the end of December. However, the figure showed the UK economy grew by a stronger than expected 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

The UK economy is proving more resilient than expected even as Brexit looms with data this week confirming record high employment, encouraging some traders to bet on the Bank of England speeding up tightening of monetary policy.

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