BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The pound advanced against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, after a data showed that the nation's economy expanded at a faster pace in November underpinned by services activity.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that gross domestic product grew 0.9 percent month-on-month in November, faster than the revised 0.2 percent expansion registered in October and the economists' forecast of 0.4 percent.
Production output increased 1.0 percent from last month. This followed two consecutive months of negative growth, with a fall of 0.5 percent in October and a decrease of 0.7 percent in September.
The visible trade deficit declined to GBP 11.34 billion in November from GBP 11.81 billion in October.
The surplus on services trade totaled GBP 11.96 billion, largely unchanged from the previous month. Consequently, the total trade surplus increased moderately to GBP 626 million from GBP 151 million a month ago.
Expectations that the Bank of England is likely to raise the key rate further in February also supported the currency.
The pound climbed to 1.3743 against the greenback and 0.8342 against the euro, off its early low of 1.3702 and a 1-week low of 0.8362, respectively. The next key resistance for the pound is located around 1.39 against the greenback and 0.82 against the euro.
The pound rebounded to 156.52 against the yen and 1.2518 against the franc, from its prior 4-day lows of 155.99 and 1.2471, respectively. Should the pound strengthens further, it is likely to test resistance around 157.5 against the yen and 1.28 against the franc.
Looking ahead, U.S. business inventories data for November, University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for January, retail sales, industrial production and import and export prices, all for December, will be featured in the New York session.
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