Stronger than expected manufacturing data and a weaker dollar helped Britain's pound rise above $1.32 for the first time in five weeks today as a wave of selling in the past month ran out of steam. 

Overall industrial output was in line with forecasts for a small 0.4% expansion on the year in July.

But manufacturing, bolstered by a weaker pound, did far better, expanding 1.9% compared to a forecast 1.7%. 

Neither number is likely to settle the unease that saw speculators double net bets against sterling in the last three weeks that data is available for. 

But traders say the weakness of the dollar and the possibility of a sign next week from the Bank of England that it is worried about the weak pound's effect on inflation have stalled the build-up of bets against the currency. 

A number of major banks have argued this week there is room for a pause in sales of the pound, but the emergence of several forecasts for a fall to parity with the euro underlines the risks to sterling from the Brexit process over the next few months. 

The euro's strength after yesterday's European Central Bank meeting also raised the prospect of more pressure. 

Strling was 0.7% higher against the euro on the day at 91.17 pence this evening and 0.8% up against the dollar at $1.3202. It earlier hit $1.3223, its strongest since early August. 

Analysts said that sterling may fare somewhat better next week, if only because investors are coming to realise that a lot of negatives are already in the price.