Pound Slides As U.K. Prime Minister May Gets Ready To Make Unscheduled Statement

By Sara Sjolin Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The pound dropped against all other major currencies on Tuesday morning after news U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will make an unscheduled statement at 11:15 a.m. London time, or 6:15 a.m. Eastern Time. The unusual move sparked speculation May could call a snap election, as statements by the prime minister usually are reserved for significant announcements, according to the British press. Downing Street confirmed May will make a statement after her Cabinet meets on Tuesday, but declined to say what it will be about. Sterling dropped to $1.2530 after trading as high as $1.2608 earlier on Tuesday. Against the euro, the pound dropped to €1.1760, falling from an intraday high of €1.1833. "There are unconfirmed rumors at this stage circulating that Theresa May might be stepping down, while there are other reports going around that this could be linked to the announcement of a U.K. general election. Truth be told, nobody is really that aware of what is going on, but this uncertainty has caused a reaction in the sterling," said Jameel Ahmad, vice president of market research at FXTM in a note. May has repeatedly denied she will call a snap election before the next planned vote in 2020.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.