Pound falls further after Brexit vote delayed

(BBC) – The pound’s fall has accelerated after the prime minister confirmed she would defer the vote on her Brexit deal.

Sterling had already slumped 1% earlier in the day on reports of the delay, but fell further as Theresa May addressed Parliament this afternoon.

At about 16:00, it was down almost two cents against the dollar at $1.2608, its lowest level since April 2017.

It had also fallen 1.3% against the euro to €1.1064, its lowest level since August.

Meanwhile, the domestically focused FTSE 250 share index fell 1.5%, hitting its lowest since December 2016.

The steep falls reflect mounting uncertainty about the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union, analysts said.

“Until the market knows what will happen with respect to Brexit one way or the other then they [traders] will remain extremely anxious,” said Jane Foley, head of foreign exchange strategy at Rabobank.

Ms Foley said the threat of a hard Brexit, under which the UK leaves the EU without a deal, as well as the continuing political uncertainty was “an extraordinary and toxic mix” for the pound.

“Once we know what is happening, things will be more settled,” she added.