Investors bailed out of sterling and stock markets in Europe and Asia, seeking shelter in gold and the Japanese yen as uncertainty over the terms of Britain's divorce from the European Union undermined appetite for risky assets. David Pollard reports.
Of the bad things in Donald Trump's universe - illegal immigrants, certain global carmakers and intelligence reports - Brexit is not one of them. In fact, in a newspaper interview he said Britain leaving the EU will be a 'great thing'. Not only that, he says, but the US will work for a trade deal quickly. Almost certainly it won't be quick enough for traders in the pound. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "The narrative on Brexit at the moment is of a hard Brexit, isn't it? It's increasingly clear that the UK is unlikely to retain access to the European single market. That being the case, we could well be out in the cold" Sterling's immediate future resting on the shoulders of prime minister Theresa May - with perhaps the economic future of the UK. Reports suggest her speech this week will outline Britain leaving the EU's single market and customs union. A 'clean break' scenario that's pushed the pound to - bar a "flash crash" in October - 32-year lows. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Pound sterling is very much focal in that ... Within the last 24 hours, of course, we've had Chancellor Philip Hammond saying that the UK would not lie down in the event of the UK being denied single market access, raising the prospect of possibly rock-bottom tax rates, corporate tax rates, deregulation, and effectively a trade war with the rest of the European Union." The yen and dollar, bonds and gold all gained as investors sought safety. A two-week rally in UK shares lost its momentum. The boost the exporter-heavy FTSE 100 has got from a falling pound - now outweighed by rising anxiety.