LONDON, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Great British pound advanced to 1.7162 against U.S. dollars Tuesday, its strongest level since October 2008, as Britain's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) increased to its seven-month high.
The pound traded at 1.7150 at 15:00 GMT, 0.26 percent higher than its closing price the previous trading day. The British currency appreciated 0.3 percent to 79.80 pence per euro, data also showed.
British manufacturing PMI, a gauge of the industry activities, climbed to 57.5 in June from 57.0 in May, the fastest manufacturing growth in seven months, and exceeding the market estimation consensus of 56.8, announced Markit on the same day.
Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit, said in a press release: "UK manufacturing continued to flourish in June, rounding off one of the best quarters for the sector over the past two decades."
Markit expects official manufacturing production to have expanded in the second quarter at a pace above the 1.5 percent registered in the first quarter.
The better-than-expectation data adds odds that British central bank would raise the benchmark interest rates earlier than the market previous expectation.
The pound strengthened 10 percent in the past year, the best performer among 10 developed-nation currencies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.