Investing.com - The pound remained higher against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, after weak U.S. data, although gains were capped by data showing that the U.K. construction sector remained in contraction territory for the fifth successive month in March.
GBP/USD hit 1.5157 during U.S. morning trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.5142, rising 0.25%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.5026, the low of March 20 and resistance at 1.5199, the high of March 28.
In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing manager's index fell to 54.4 from a reading of 56.0 in February, expanding at the slowest pace in five months.
Analysts had expected the index to decline to 55.8 last month.
The data came after a report showed that ADP nonfarm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 158,000 in March, well below expectations for an increase of 200,000, following an upwardly revised gain of 237,000 the previous month.
The pound weakened earlier, after data showed that the U.K. construction purchasing managers' index ticked up to 47.2 from 46.8 in February, still below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction and undershooting forecasts for a reading of 47.5.
The report said that unusually bad weather and sluggish demand contributed to lower construction output in March.
The data added to fears over the risk of a triple dip recession after data on Tuesday showed that the U.K. manufacturing sector contracted last month.
The U.K. was to release data on service sector activity on Thursday, ahead of the Bank of England’s rate decision.
Sterling was steady against the euro with EUR/GBP inching down 0.04%, to hit 0.8483.
Sentiment on the euro remained fragile amid concerns over the outlook for the economy, and as investors awaited the outcome of the European Central Bank’s policy meeting on Thursday.
The ECB was not expected to announce any changes to monetary policy, but investors were awaiting comments from President Mario Draghi at the bank’s post-policy meeting press conference.