May 25, 2017 / 8:24 AM / 6 months ago

Sterling holds ground ahead of business investment data

* Graphic: sterling and gilt yields

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote

By Marc Jones

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s pound inched back towards $1.30 but struggled to fend off the euro’s latest advances on Thursday, ahead of business investment data and an updated reading of the economy’s first-quarter performance.

Recent weeks have brought signs that parts of the British economy are wilting, and revised and more detailed Q1 GDP figures due at 0830 GMT are expected to confirm growth slipped to 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter from 0.7 percent in Q4.

The business investment numbers are forecast to see a modest 0.2 percent bounce, meanwhile, and will feed discussions on whether the start to negotiations over Britain’s departure from the European Union will dent domestic firms’ confidence.

Ahead of the figures, the pound ticked up to $1.2983 as the dollar sagged again following signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday that it was in no rush to ramp up interest rates.

“We do start to wonder whether we are getting a bit stretched in terms of that (pound rise versus the dollar),” said TD Securities head of global research Richard Kelly.

“We think the market is underpriced on the Fed side and I think we might have gone a bit far, a bit fast.”

Sterling slipped slightly against the euro to 86.56 pence per euro to leave it hovering just above a two-month low hit earlier in the week. It has fallen roughly 4 percent over the last month.

Campaigning for Britain’s June 8 election is set to resume on Friday, after being suspended due to Monday’s suicide bomb attack in Manchester which killed 22 people. (Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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