- The British pound plunged to its lowest level in 18 months after Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a key Brexit vote.
- Sterling fell 1% on Monday after May opted to push back the debate on fears of an overwhelming defeat for her deal.
- Watch the British pound trade live.
It’s been one of those Mondays for Theresa May.
Britain’s prime minister delayed a meaningful vote on her Brexit deal, after hours of confusion, to avoid a crushing defeat – and the pound was taking a hit. Sterling had dropped 1% to 1.26 per dollar as of 2 p.m. in London (9 a.m. ET), touching its lowest level in 18 months.
More than 100 Conservative MPs had voiced opposition to the deal, leading May to push the vote back to an unconfirmed date. It had been set to take place Tuesday evening.
“When the market thought uncertainty had finally peaked, May’s delay proves it wrong,” said Simon Harvey, a foreign-exchange analyst at Monex Europe. “By delaying the vote, May has all but accepted a defeat was the likely outcome and this increases uncertainty in the market.”
The prime minister was scheduled to make a statement to Parliament at 3:30 p.m. GMT (10:30 a.m. ET). To date, 113 Tory MPs have pledged to vote against the government, along with the vast majority of MPs from opposition parties.
“The pound looks highly susceptible to more negative news flow and further declines may be expected,” Neil Wilson, the chief markets analyst for Markets.com, said in a note.
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