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Pound Rises Amid Risk Appetite

The British pound strengthened against other major currencies in the European session on Thursday amid risk appetite, ahead of a key meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which kicks off later today.

Investors await speeches from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi, though they are not expected to send any new policy messages.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is currently up 0.39 percent or 28.66 points at 7,411, France's CAC 40 index is up 0.32 percent or 16.17 points at 5,131 and Germany's DAX is up 0.39 percent or 47.33 points at 12,221.

In economic news, data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the U.K. economy expanded as initially estimated in the second quarter. Gross domestic product increased 0.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter, unrevised from the preliminary estimate. The latest pace of growth was slightly faster than the 0.2 percent expansion posted in the first quarter.

Year-on-year, GDP growth came in at 1.7 percent, in line with preliminary estimate.

Imports of goods and services have increased 0.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Exports of goods increased 1.5 percent, but exports of services dropped 0.4 percent.

Another report from ONS showed that the index of services increased 0.4 percent in June from May.

In the Asian trading today, the pound held steady against its major rivals.

In the European trading, the pound rose to 140.25 against the yen and 1.2377 against the Swiss franc, from an early near 2-1/2-month low of 139.32 and a 1-month low of 1.2333, respectively. If the pound extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 143.00 against the yen and 1.26 against the franc.

Against the euro and the U.S. dollar, the pound edged up to 0.9193 and 1.2825 from early lows of 0.9235 and 1.2774, respectively. The pound may test support near 0.90 against the euro and 1.30 against the greenback.

Looking ahead, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended August 19 and U.S. existing home sales data for July are due to be released in the New York session.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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