The pound has hit a near five-year high against the dollar after a survey suggested that UK manufacturing grew faster than expected in April.
Sterling hit $1.6921, before falling back to $1.6906, and against the euro it rose 0.1% to 1.2184 euros.
The gains came after the Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) ticked up to 57.3 from a revised 55.8 in March.
A figure above 50 indicates expansion, and economists had expected 55.4.
The PMI figure, the highest for five months, maintained the sector’s “robust start to the year”, CIPS said.
“Growth improved across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors, as companies responded to rising new order inflows, new product launches and efforts to clear backlogs of work,” it added.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said the survey suggested that manufacturers were creating jobs at a pace of about 10,000 a month at present, with employment in the sector expanding for the 12th month in a row.