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Sterling rises to two-week high vs dollar ahead of data heavy calendar

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - The pound rose and hit a two-week high against the dollar on Monday ahead of a data-heavy week that is expected to provide more evidence that Britain’s economy is rebounding from its deepest recession in 300 years.

Versus a weakening dollar, the pound rose 0.3% to $1.3888 at 0835, it highest level since April 6. It was 0.1% lower versus the euro at 86.63 pence.

Traders will be watching this week PMI surveys for the United Kingdom, together with data on the labour market, inflation and retail sales.

“GBP continues to find support on dips and it seems like investors are happy enough staying positioned for the 2Q UK re-opening story,” said Chris Turner, Global Head of Markets at ING.

“Today we have already seen some encouraging April Rightmove house price data,” he said.

Advertised prices for homes in Britain hit a record high after finance minister Rishi Sunak stoked the market again by extending a tax cut for home-buyers last month, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

Asking prices jumped by 2.1% in the five weeks to April 10, only the second time in five years that prices have risen by more than 2% from one month to the next.

Both ING and UniCredit analysts wrote to clients that there is scope for sterling to strengthen to $1.40 this week.

The pound had a strong first quarter, helped by a speedy roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations across Britain and by dwindling expectations of negative interest rates.

As England re-opened retail stores, hairdressers, gyms and pub gardens, analysts expect the economy in the UK to recover faster than in the European Union, which is facing a third wave of infections.

“Current domestic COVID data is encouraging and a further easing of lockdowns will all point in the direction of the UK economy early out of the block on economic recovery expectations,” said Neil Jones, Head of FX Sales at Mizuho Bank.

Reporting by Joice Alves Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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