The English pound advanced to its eight-week high on Thursday on foreign exchange markets against the shared currency of the European Union as concerns spread about the sovereign debt crisis deepening, according to Bloomberg.
The monetary unit climbed against 15 of its 16 top rivals in the aftermath of a government report noting the services industry of Britain grew in January. But Cyprus, which re-opened its banks on Thursday after two weeks of closure, is the most recent of the euro zone nations to accept bailout aid.
"It's very much a flight to safety," foreign-exchange strategist Shant Movsesian with 4Cast Ltd. in London told the news source on Thursday. "The U.K. is a safe haven for many. The bad news is already out there in the UK but clearly the cracks that are there in Europe are still to be seen."
From December to January, services in the UK rose 0.3 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England who will retire this summer, said the global economic crisis by no means is over, according to The Telegraph.
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