British pound tumbles as UK election gamble fails


The pound plunged Friday as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives lost its parliamentary majority in Britain’s general election, fuelling political uncertainty just days before the start of Brexit talks.
Sterling slumped in early morning deals to a seven-week low of $1.2636, while the euro hit a seven-month peak at 88.59 pence.
However, that propelled the London stock market higher as the weaker pound boosts multinational companies that earn in currencies other than sterling. Investors also brushed off news of a monthly rise in industrial output.
May had called Thursday’s snap vote in a bid to boost her Conservative party’s hold over parliament and give her a stronger hand in upcoming talks with EU leaders over the country’s detachment from the bloc.
However, leftist Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party slashed the Conservatives’ lead, leaving the country with a hung parliament.
That means that no single party has the 326 seats required for an absolute majority, sparking speculation that May will seek the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).—AFP

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