[LONDON] Sterling and Britain's blue chip stock index rose to a day's high on Friday after a survey showed the downturn in the construction sector was easing, boosting expectations that the economy is holding up well after the Brexit vote.
The Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 49.2 from 45.9 in July, still below the 50 mark dividing growth and contraction but beating all forecasts in a Reuters poll.
Sterling rose to a high of US$1.3295, up from around US$1.3275 before the survey was released. It hit a four-week high of US$1.3318 on Thursday. The euro weakened to a day's low of 84.16 pence, having traded at 84.29 pence beforehand.
Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index was last quoted 0.5 per cent higher.
The construction PMI followed data on Thursday that showed the British manufacturing sector staging one of its sharpest rebounds on record. The Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI jumped to a 10-month high of 53.3 in August, recovering from the three-year low it hit in July.