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Pound Lower After Weak U.K. GDP Data

The pound declined against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, after a data showed that the U.K. economy unexpectedly contracted in December, intensifying worries over a looming Brexit.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent from November, when it grew 0.2 percent. Economists had forecast the economy to stagnate for the month.

The economy expanded 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter following a 0.6 percent growth in the third quarter. Economists were looking for a 0.3 percent growth.

Industrial production dropped 0.5 percent on a monthly basis after a 0.3 percent decline in the previous month. The industrial output was expected to grow by 0.1 percent.

Separate data from the ONS showed that the visible trade deficit rose to GBP 12.1 billion in December from GBP 12.02 billion in November. Economists had expected a deficit of GBP 11.95 billion.

The currency showed mixed trading against its major counterparts in the Asian session. While it held steady against the euro and the greenback, it rose against the yen. Against the franc, it dropped.

The pound retreated to 142.09 against the yen, from a 4-day high of 142.56 touched at 4:00 am ET. On the downside, 140.00 is likely seen as the next support level for the pound.

Preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed that Switzerland's headline consumer price inflation slowed for a third straight month in January.

The consumer price index rose 0.6 percent year-on-year after a 0.7 percent increase in December. The easing was in line with economists' expectations.

Extending early slide, the pound fell to a 4-day low of 1.2895 against the greenback from Friday's closing value of 1.2936. The next possible support for the pound is seen around the 1.26 level.

Having climbed to 0.8745 against the euro at 5:30 pm ET, the pound reversed direction and dropped to a 4-day low of 0.8774. The pound is likely to find support around the 0.89 level.

The pound fell back to 1.2922 against the franc following the data, not far from a 4-day low of 1.2910 set early in the Asian session. This may be compared to a weekly high of 1.3056 seen at 5:00 pm ET. The pound is seen finding support around the 1.28 level.

In today's events, at 11:15 am ET, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman will deliver a speech at the Annual American Bankers Association Conference for Community Bankers in San Diego.

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