The pound has tumbled against both the dollar and the euro this afternoon, dampening an otherwise strong week for the currency.
Against the US dollar, the pound lost 1.1 per cent after a sharp plunge in afternoon trading to stand at $1.3029. Sterling fared slightly better against the euro, losing 0.7 per cent to enter the final few hours of the week at €1.1512.
The currency is now hovering less than half a cent above its three-year low against the euro, and two cents higher than a 31-year low against the dollar - both reached on Monday.
Despite weak data out on public finances this morning, analysts said they could not find a specific reason for the lunchtime slide, suggesting it could simply be a flurry of end-of-week sellers driving the pound down.
"It looks like quite a sharp drop ... although I can't see that this has coincided with data or commentary elsewhere. So I think these moves could be technically driven in this case, with support for the pound giving way as it approached $1.31," said Chris Saint, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.