Sterling lost a tenth of its value in minutes on Friday, in what traders said was a “flash crash” driven by computer-initiated sell orders that left the pound at a fresh 31-year-low and heading for its worst week since January 2009.
The pound has been under pressure for most of this week as anxiety grows that Britain will opt for a “hard” exit from the European Union. On Friday, it dived about 10 percent from levels around $1.2600 to $1.1378 in a matter of minutes in thin early Asian trade.
That low was later revised to $1.1491 — still the weakest level for sterling since 1985 — by Thomson Reuters, which owns the Reuters foreign exchange brokerage platform RTSL and said an outlying trade had been cancelled.
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