The pound slumped more than one percent versus the dollar and euro Wednesday as Britain’s government moved to extend the suspension of parliament, increasing the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain’s currency slid 1.1 percent to $1.2157, while the euro bought 91.23 pence. Sterling later recovered to above $1.22 but remained heavily down on late Tuesday.
The pound’s plunge boosted London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index, which features numerous multinationals earnings in dollars.
“The pace of sterling’s drop demonstrates yet again the currency’s susceptibility to Brexit fears,” said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM trading group.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced that the annual suspension of parliament would be extended until October 14 — just two weeks before the UK is set to leave the European Union.
“Such an event would curtail attempts to block a no-deal Brexit within the UK parliament,” Tan added.
Anti-Brexit MPs said Johnson’s move amounted to a coup and a declaration of war, branding the prime minister a dictator.
The extension “certainly caught markets off-guard and came at a time when the pound had been recouping some of its (previous Brexit-fuelled) losses”, noted Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.
“The FTSE, as ever, is the unintended beneficiary of the plunge in the currency, given that the vast majority of its earnings are generated outside of the UK.”