The British pound climbed half a cent to $1.2481 by 5: 39 a.m. after U.K. services PMI data showed a rise to 55 in March from 53.5 the previous month. There was another warning on the U.K.'s approach to Brexit negotiations from the EU side today, with the union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warning that Britain must settle the terms of its exit before seeking a trade deal, or risk having no deal at all.
Figures released yesterday show that American imports from China had their largest one-month fall on record -- some of which was due to the timing of the Lunar New Year -- and that eight U.S. states carry a trade surplus with the country. China has also become the top buyer of U.S. crude oil. Such data means we may hear a different tone at this week's meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Donald Trump than the one the U.S. president struck during the election campaign.