The pound wallowed around two-month lows Tuesday, unable to bounce back from last week’s shock election that saw Britain’s ruling Conservatives lose their majority, throwing the country into uncertainty, days before key Brexit talks.
While Prime Minister Theresa May looked to counter anger within her party by apologizing and telling MPs “I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out”, there are doubts about her future in Downing Street.
May had called the vote in a bid to strengthen her majority, and her bargaining power, before going into the EU exit talks set for June 19. Now she must rely on the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said: “The political uncertainty is unhelpful given Brexit talks are about to begin in the next week.”
He added that “sterling came under renewed pressure as a result” of the newly formed government’s refusal to soften its approach to the discussions. “Why the government wouldn’t use the election for a reset I just don’t know.”
In early Asian trade the pound slipped to $1.2650.
The currency’s “near-term direction will continue to be driven by the post-election fallout, but the prospects look increasingly gloomy as the possibility of another Tory leadership vacuum enters the picture at precisely the wrong time for the UK,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA.