Flash crash rocks pound as Hollande warns on Brexit

Speaking Thursday, French President Francois Hollande said the EU should take a tough line with London during exit talks to prevent the break-up of the bloc.

Flash crash rocks pound as Hollande warns on Brexit

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sterling suffered a dizzying "flash crash" against the euro and dollar on Friday in a computer-generated sell-off, sending Brexit shockwaves across markets after France warned of perils ahead for Britain.

The pound plunged more than six percent against the dollar in under ten minutes in Asian trading hours -- at the end of a tumultuous week of heavy losses after Prime Minister Theresa May signalled she would trigger Britain's departure from the European Union by the end of March.

A spokesman for the Bank of England told AFP that it was "looking into" the cause of the flash crash -- a vertiginous drop in an asset's value that can be triggered and exacerbated by automated trading systems.

"The value of sterling plummeted overnight as algorithmic trading programmes apparently triggered a crash," said XTB analyst David Cheetham.

"Comments from French President Hollande (surfaced) a minute before the selling began, so it seems far more plausible that news-scanning algorithmic trading systems began a move which gathered momentum."

Cheetham added that a combination of trades placed by algorithms and stop-loss orders can "exacerbate the move, which is commonly seen to retrace by a significant proportion of the decline within a matter of minutes".

Stop-loss orders are automatic orders to buy or sell an asset once it reaches a certain price level.

The pound fell off a cliff at about 2310 GMT on Thursday to strike a 31-year low at $1.1841, before rebounding back above $1.24.

The euro also hit a 6.5-year-high at 94.15 pence.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ekim 2016, 14:11