The pound appreciated against its major counterparts in the European session on Thursday, as the nation's services sector expanded at a faster pace in May, driven by resurgent business and consumer spending in response to looser pandemic restrictions.

Survey results from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed that the final services PMI climbed to 62.9 in May from 61.0 in April. The flash score was 61.8.

The latest reading was the highest since May 1997.

Investors focus on the monthly U.S. jobs report due on Friday, which could offer cues on the economic recovery and the interest rate outlook.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Wednesday that it is appropriate to begin discussing the time frame for tapering the bond buying program.

The pound firmed to 2-day highs of 155.74 against the yen and 1.4188 versus the dollar, following its prior lows of 155.13 and 1.4143, respectively. The currency may possibly challenge resistance around 157 against the yen and 1.43 against the dollar.

The pound hit a 2-day high of 0.8592 against the euro, rising from a low of 0.8619 seen at 1:30 am ET. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 0.84 level.

The pound was trading at 1.2771 against the franc, after having recovered from a low of 1.2705 set in the Asian session. The pound may test resistance around the 1.30 region, should it rallies again.

Looking ahead, U.S. ADP private payrolls data for May is scheduled for release at 8:15 am ET.

The U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended May 29 and ISM services PMI for May will be released in the New York session.

Grafico Cross Sterling vs Yen (FX:GBPJPY)

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Grafico Cross Sterling vs Yen (FX:GBPJPY)

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