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The purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector rose to 49,5  points. Expectations were for a score of 46.1 points after last month’s weak 45.4 points, which was now revised down to 45.2 points. 50 points separate between contraction and growth. According to this data for August, the British manufacturing sector is still contracting, but at a much slower pace.

GBP/USD traded steadily around 1.5865 before the release and is now on the rise. The pair is at 1.5894, challenging the round number of 1.59. The peak seen in August was 1.5912.

This is a very busy week for the pound, and practically everywhere. In the UK, PMIs for construction and services will follow, and the rate decision on Thursday also draws attention.

Cable enjoyed a higher range thanks to higher expectations for QE3 in the US. This is still to be seen though.

For more on sterling, see the GBP USD forecast.