LONDON (Reuters) - Sterling trimmed gains and stocks hit the session highs on Thursday after a major survey showed Britain's services sector struggled to recover in April from a sharp slowdown in March, further squeezing expectations of an interest rate hike next week.

Sterling <gbp=d3>trimmed gains to stand 0.2 percent up on day at $1.3598 compared to $1.3630 earlier. It later recovers most of those losses.</gbp=d3>

Britain's FTSE 100 (FTSE) rose to a session high, up 0.04 percent as a weaker sterling is expected to boost overseas earnings.

UK gilt futures rose 10 ticks after the weaker-than-expected survey and turned positive for the day.

 

The IHS Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.8 in April from March's 20-month low of 51.7, a smaller increase than economists had forecast in a Reuters poll and its second-lowest level since September 2016.