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Recession angst whacks pound as dollar surges

By Ritvik Carvalho
Pound Sterling notes and change are seen inside a cash resgister in a coffee shop in Manchester

By Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON (Reuters) - Sterling slipped on Wednesday, losing ground to a surging dollar amid a wider selloff in global stock markets as data showed factory activity in Asia contracting sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Manufacturing gauges tumbled in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, with Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) surveys underscoring the widening damage wrought by the pandemic that has infected more than 700,000 people, upended supply chains and led to city lockdowns worldwide.

IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index for Britain's manufacturing sector is due at 0830 GMT, and economists polled by Reuters forecast a fall to 47.0 in March from 51.7 in February.

By 0754 GMT, the pound was half a percent lower to the dollar at $1.2363.

It was 0.1% higher to the euro at 88.70 pence.


(Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Tom Wilson)