March 15, 2017 / 9:29 AM / 8 months ago

Sterling steadies ahead of labour market data

* Graphic: sterling and gilt yields bit.ly/2dgAXn1

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

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

By Patrick Graham

LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - Sterling bounced back from a fall to eight-week lows on Wednesday with dealers citing a weaker dollar, a poll showing Scots still favour remaining in the United Kingdom and signs that EU exit talks will not be triggered for another two weeks.

The pound had sunk to its lowest since mid-January on Tuesday after Prime Minister Theresa May won the last of a series of votes in parliament allowing her to trigger the start of a two-year process to leave the trading bloc.

But she opted not to move straight away and signs from the government that Brussels will not be formally notified until the end of the month offered the pound some breathing space.

More important on Wednesday were likely to be unemployment and wage data, eyed for more signs of a slowdown in an economy that has so far surprised with its strength in the face of the Brexit process but now seems to be weakening.

“Plenty of choppy trade in the Pound at the moment, with the market quite jittery on any headlines relating to Brexit,” analysts from currencies exchange LMAX said in a morning note.

“There has been talk that once triggered, the period before negotiations with the EU begin might extend to June.”

A poll for The Times showed 57 percent of Scots still want to remain in the UK, soothing some of the nerves around the prospect of another referendum on independence which Edinburgh’s devolved government wants to call when the Brexit talks are concluded.

Sterling was up 0.6 percent on the day at $1.2229, outperforming a 0.3 percent rise for the euro against the dollar. It also gained 0.4 percent to 86.92 pence per euro.

Unemployment is forecast to have steadied at 4.8 percent in January, while growth of average weekly earnings dipped to 2.4 percent, according to Reuters polling of economists. (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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