The Confederation of British industry has released industrial trends for August, showing an improvement of -54 from -59 the previous month. This is the highest level since June last year and is in accordance with other surveys showing modest improvements in manufacturing and industrial activity.

The latest manufacturing PMI noted the first expansion in over a year as the prospect of ending recession drives firms towards stock-building. However positive sentiment was capped by the weaknesses within the UK economy after GDP contracted 0.8% in the second quarter. Economists are predicting a return to growth in the third quarter of 2009.

Sterling foreign exchange rates have continued to weaken today, falling 0.3% against the US dollar and nearly 1% against the euro to trade at USD1.65 and EUR1.16.

The rates quoted above are interbank rates. Client rates may vary according to the volume and timing of the trade.