Here we go again: Sterling drops against the dollar

Emma Haslett
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The pound continued its slide against the dollar in early trading today (Source: Getty)

A bad start to the week for currency traders, as the pound dropped against the dollar and the euro, adding to drastic losses at the end of last week.

Sterling was up-and-down in morning trading, before an afternoon sell-off gripped the currency, taking it down 0.5 per cent against the greenback to $1.2371.

Against the euro the pound was off by 0.2 per cent at €1.1085.

The fluctuations follow a turbulent day on Friday, when the pound hit a 31-year low against the dollar following a so-called flash crash during Asian trading.

Read more: After a torrid time for sterling, is the UK economy heading for trouble?

Having fallen more than six per cent in two minutes overnight, sterling only recovered some of its losses during the day on Friday. Not even expectations of a Fed rate hike following a rise in US job openings could help bring the pound back against the dollar, and the currency finished at $1.2435.

Part of the pound's fall was down to the US dollar's rise following a perceived win by Hillary Clinton at the second Presidential debate.

"From a currency perspective, a Clinton win is the best outcome for the dollar and risk assets more generally, and the greenback is higher after her perceived triumph last night," said Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index.

"There appears to be pent up demand for the dollar as we head into peak US election season, and not even a fairly mediocre payrolls report was enough to derail the currency. Looking forward, further signs that Clinton could become the 45th President of the United States may help to keep the dollar as the leader of the G10 pack for the foreseeable future."

Analysts at Rabobank suggested market jitters over a hard Brexit were to blame for sterling's failure to recover.

Julian Mayo, co-chief investment officer at Carlemagne Capital, even drew comparisons to an emerging market currency.

"One lesson of the developing fiasco surrounding Brexit is that emerging markets no longer have a monopoly on political risk. Sterling is behaving like an emerging currency.

"With the US election next month and polls in both Germany and France next year, developed market risk seems likely to remain elevated for some time."

What is going on with sterling?

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