June 2, 2017 / 8:26 AM / 4 months ago

Sterling trades lower before UK construction data

* Graphic: Sterling and gilt yields bit.ly/2dgAXn1

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

By Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - Sterling traded below seven-month highs against the dollar on Friday as investors awaited data on the construction sector in Britain while keeping an eye out for polls on the country’s general election due in less than a week.

The pound has recently been choppy, with investors unsure if Prime Minister Theresa May will secure a large majority in the June 8 vote following polls predicting a range of outcomes from a slim majority for her Conservatives to a hung parliament.

Nevertheless, the currency has held onto its gains since May announced the vote in mid-April, as the polls still show her Conservatives winning despite the opposition Labour Party narrowing down her lead.

By 0810 GMT, the pound was down 0.1 percent at $1.2866.In mid-May, it touched its highest level since September at $1.3048.

Sterling was 0.2 percent lower at 87.18 pence per euro.

Growth in the UK’s construction industry accelerated to a four-month high in April, adding to tentative signs the economy might be recovering momentum after a lacklustre start to 2017.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index to show a reading of 52.7 for May when the data comes out at 0830 GMT.

Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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