U.S. services growth remains robust, though future expectations ease

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"Services activity was reported to be particularly soft in September among consumer-facing sectors", he said.

The drop in new orders across the UK's service sector last month is a serious concern, says Duncan Brock of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply. Although the figure remains comfortably above the 50 mark which separates expansion from contraction, it points to a loss of momentum.

IHS Markit's composite PMI, which combines services, manufacturing and construction, edged down to a seven-month low of 53.6 in September - leaving it some way off levels that would normally be consistent with BoE rate increases.

Manufacturing activity remained unchanged in September compared with the level in August, although the sector witnessed some expansion during both months, according to a private sector survey.

Given the disruption caused by recent hurricanes, some pull-back in business activity was understandable, said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief business economist, so the resilient reading made for encouraging reading.

The Bank has forecast economic growth of 0.3% in the third quarter, so the IHS Markit findings should not prevent the Bank from "pressing ahead and raising interest rates in November", Mr Hollingsworth said.

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The headline seasonally adjusted PMI was 53.6 in September, up from an 11-month low of 53.2 in August, but still lower that the index average of 54.3 in the second quarter.

But it also contained some discouraging signs: new orders increased at the weakest pace since August of previous year, inflation pressures rose at the fastest pace for several months and confidence sagged.

However, job creation was robust over the period, recording a marginal fall from a 19-month high in August.

The surveys could make it hard for the Bank of England to judge whether or not to raise interest rates at next month's Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

Meanwhile, the German DAX traded 0.06 percent higher at 12,909.75 by 09:10 GMT, while at 09:00GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly Euro Strength Index remained neutral at 22.74 (higher than +75 represents bullish trend).

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