Sterling touches lowest since February as Brexit uncertainty drags on

The pound brushed its lowest level since mid-February as the UK currency tracked a strengthening sense among investors that Westminster’s cross-party talks seeking an accord on a Brexit agreement were floundering. A shift away from risk across global markets left sterling looking exposed and moved it towards the lower end of its trading range. Sterling fell 0.5 percent to trade at $1.2838 in midweek trading in London, close to its lowest level since February 15. February’s intra-day low was $1.2770.

As negotiations between Theresa May and the rival leader in London flag, the prime minister challenged Jeremy Corbyn to agree on whether to endorse her Brexit compromise proposal. She meanwhile planned to place her Premiership on the line in a House of Commons vote in the first week of June. Mrs May told the Labour leader the government would move forward legislation to approve a revised Brexit deal on June 4 or 5. Defeat would almost certainly mean the end of the road for the prime minister and her undertaking to take Britain out of the EU.

The opposition Labour party at the end of last week completed the cross-bench talks with the government, with leader Jeremy Corbyn saying the discourses that started in early April have “gone as far as they can”. And instead, Labour will proceed to oppose Theresa May’s Brexit deal ahead of a House of Commons vote planned in June. Sterling fell 0.3 percent on Friday to $1.2760, testing the currency’s closing lows for the year. The pound which has developed into a barometer for investors’ predictions of Britain’s exit process from the EU, has fallen 1.85 percent this week as talks drifted towards breaking up, its worst week since the one ending February 9 last year, when it dropped just over 2 percent.