The pound is getting crushed on Monday amid uncertainty about what would happen if the UK were to leave the European Union.
At 2.05 p.m. GMT (9.05 a.m. ET), the pound is down 2.27% at 1.4078 — its lowest rate since 2009. The last time the pound fell this hard against the dollar was the day the Bank of England introduced quantitative easing.
Here’s how dramatic today’s fall looks:
Caxton FX analyst Nicholas Laser-Ebisch says in an emailed statement: “This movement is largely being driven by positive data from the U.S. last week, in addition to sterling weakness today. The sterling weakness is a result of an official date being set over the weekend for the long-anticipated EU membership referendum.”
Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend set June 23 as the date for a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union. That’s brought concerns about what would happen if the UK were to leave to the front of traders’ minds.
To make matters worse, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has come out in favour of a “Brexit” — a British exit from Europe. Johnson is hugely influential within the Tory Party and with voters in general. A recent survey by the Evening Standard found 1 in 3 voters say Johnson’s view is “important” for deciding which way they will vote.
As well as weakness against the dollar, the pound is getting destroyed across pretty much all major currency trades:
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