On Wednesday, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply posted a 13-month high for the UK's manufacturing sector. The sector rose sharply in June edging closer to the key 50-point level. The purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector rose to 47.0 in June from 45.4 in May.

Dow Jones Newswires last week estimated that the purchasing managers' index would rise to 46.5. Fortunately the real outcome was stronger than expected, and this has created anxious hopes of reaching the 50-point mark. A reading above 50 indicates that the sector is expanding while below 50 indicates contraction.

The better than expected manufacturing news has sterling exchange rates at EUR0.8561 and USD0.6087.

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