Dubai: The pound cut its previous losses against the dollar on Wednesday, after falling for a third straight day to the lowest level in seven weeks as the UK presented its first full budget after Brexit.

The pound was down 0.2049 per cent at 1.2170 against the dollar, after hitting a low of 1.21, the level last seen in late January.

“The downside may be hardly 1-2 per cent in pound. The currency is reaching a point where it is quite streched. Pound at 1.2 is an attractive buy level. We may start seeing major reversal by the end of the month,” said Phaneendar Bhavaraju, an independent currency trader in Dubai.

The UK FTSE 100 Index was at 7,344.13, up 0.03 per cent.

The dollar index rose amid continued strong data pointers from the US, cementing expectations of a rate hike next week by the Federal Reserve.

US private sector employment data showed 298,000 jobs were added last month, 110,000 more than forecast. The non-farm payrolls data on Friday will be the final data pointer to the next action of the US Federal Reserve.

The dollar index was up 0.21 per cent at 102.02.

US stocks were almost flat ahead of jobs data on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.09 per cent at 20,943.58. The S&P 500 index was 0.06 per cent higher at 2,369.71. The STOXX Europe 600 Index was up 0.21 per cent at 373.05. The German DAX index closed 0.3 per cent higher at 12,005.44.

Gold was down 0.69 per cent to be at $1,207.51 an ounce. The losses put the yellow metal on track for its fifth straight session in the red.

“Our expectations of solid growth, a stronger US dollar and rising interest rates still calls for fading safe-haven demand and lower price. At the same time, the market should not lose sight of persistently weak demand in China and India,” Carsten Menke, commodities research analyst, Julius Baer said.