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The British construction sector contracted in December – the purchasing managers’ index fell under 50 points, meaning that the sector is contracting. The early expectations stood on growth – a score of 51.1 points.

This is bad news, as the construction sector was supposed to be an engine of growth for the UK in Q4. This is surprising after yesterday’s Manufacturing PMI came out better than expected, at 58.3 points,  which reflects strong growth in the industry, yet the construction sector is troubled. This is also felt in some weakness in house prices.

GBP/USD now trades at 1.5573, falling from almost 1.56 earlier. Cable is bound within a wide range, between 1.5350 and 1.5650.  For more on the pound, see the GBP/USD forecast.