Sterling hit by weakest UK growth since 2012

The UK economy grew at the slowest pace since 2012 in the first quarter of 2018, rising only 0.1% in three months. Reduced activity in the construction sector which contracted by 3.3% quarter-on-quarter was a leading factor, though adverse weather was also blamed for poor economic performance. Aside from this, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also pointed to weaker manufacturing growth and consumer facing industries for slow overall economic growth. Sterling took a hard hit after the news, falling around 0.9 per cent against major currencies and UK government bonds were being bought as expectations of an interest rate hike at the Bank of England's next meeting fell significantly. The FTSE 100 index, comprised of internationally focused companies, was up around 0.7 per cent as the weaker currency improved earnings from abroad.