4 August 2003, 12:23  Sterling pushes higher against data-hit dollar

LONDON, Aug 4 - Sterling tracked the euro higher against the dollar on Monday as investors continued to scale back expectations for a strong U.S. recovery after disappointing U.S. jobs data on Friday. An industrial survey on Britain's construction industry and money supply figures are due at 0830 GMT, but are unlikely to change the view that the Bank of England will leave interest rates steady this week. Concerns about economic weakness prompted the Bank to cut rates to 3.5 percent last month, but recent data on retail sales and consumer borrowing have been surprisingly strong. "Recent data have been on the strong side and that will give the Bank of England good excuse to stay on hold," said Fatih Yilmaz, senior currency strategist at Bank of America in London. "In the short-term the market will reward sterling on growth prospects." Sterling was up a quarter-percent at $1.6145 in early European trade, having recovered from a one-week low of $1.60 on Friday. Against the euro, the pound was broadly steady on the day at 70.00 pence .

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