US service sector activity hits four-month high

More positive signs for the US economy. Activity in the US services sector rose to a higher-than-expected 56.6 in January - the highest it's been since September 2013 - according to a flash estimate from Markit.

The services purchasing managers’ index was expected at 56.2 from December’s 55.7.

The reading shows continued robust expansion into 2014, with new business growth maintained in January.

Employment rose at a solid pace in the sector, and service providers have signalled the most upbeat outlook for three years, with business sentiment optimistic.