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Pound has plunged to around $1.367 against the dollar — its weakest level since mid-January following the disappointing data showing a slowdown in manufacturing growth to a 17-month low.
The pound was also hurt by the resignation of Britain’s interior minister and uncertainty over the course of Brexit after the upper house voted to give parliament the power to block or delay a final deal on departure from the European Union.
Data firm Markit had today reported that factory output, new orders and job creation all rose at a slower pace in April. UK manufacturing PMI was down to 53.9, from 54.9 in March (while any reading over 50 shows growth).
Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit said: “While adverse weather was partly to blame in February and March, there are no excuses for April’s disappointing (PMI) performance, making the chances of a near-term hike in interest rates by the Bank of England look increasingly remote.”