World Economy

UK Manufacturing Fall Affects Pound

UK Manufacturing Fall Affects PoundUK Manufacturing Fall Affects Pound

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index fell from 54 the previous month to 51.9 – above 50 means expansion – with the volume of new work from abroad declining as sterling’s strength made exports less competitive.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organization, said: “Recent data points to a marked loss of momentum. Any sign export growth was about to turn around looks to have been a false dawn.”

The pound dropped 1.2 percent to €1.35 and was down 1.4 percent to $1.51. With European markets closed for May Day, shares in London and New York both managed to move higher.

The FTSE 100 finished up 25.32 points at 6985.95, while on Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently up around 100 points.

There are a number of uncertainties ahead, of course. Crunch talks between Greece and its creditors are set to continue over the weekend, while in the UK there is the general election to contend with. And on the same day as the poll result – Friday – come the latest non-farm payroll figures from the US.

US consumer confidence rose slightly in April, according to the University of Michigan’s latest survey released earlier, to its highest level since January.

The index came in at 95.9, unchanged from the initial April reading, and up from the March figure of 93. But analysts had been expecting a slightly better level of 96.