A surging dollar saw the pound fall to a 30-year low this week.Read more
Pound Sterling (GBP)
GBP/EUR - Today's data summary
GBP/JPY - Today's data summary
GBP/USD - Today's data summary
As you can see from the day's trading graph above the pound is sharply lower, part of a steady decline since 9th March.
Sterling has experienced “one of its steepest declines in memory” writes Neil Wilson chief market analyst at Markets.com.
It hit its weakest level since 1985, excluding the Oct 2016 “flash crash”, he says.
At 1pm UK time a pound was buying $1.19 and €1.08.
“There is a synchronised rush for dollars that has caught most companies, governments and traders on the hop,” Mr Wilson writes. But also: “the euro has developed certain safe haven characteristics. Sterling is, on the other hand, a bit of a proxy for risk.”
After a fall following the announcement of the emergency rates cut, the pound is back up into positive territory, trading up 0.37% against the dollar.
Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 is up about 1.35% after the Bank of England unexpectedly cut interest rates to shield the economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Shares in major UK banks, including Lloyds, RBS and Barclays, rose between 1% and 2% after the central bank said lenders could use one of their capital buffers to maintain lending during the outbreak.
The pound slumped 0.5% against the euro to €1.136 and was little changed against the dollar at $1.289. The cut in rates makes the UK less attractive as a place to deposit money by foreign investors seeking cash deposits or bonds.
Share markets reacted positively, albeit after a choppy week. The FTSE 100 rose 1.4% in early trading.
Sterling rose 0.76% against the dollar to $1.3147.
Against the Euro, it slid 0.34% to €1.15 and against the Japanese Yen 2.16% to ¥134.48.
The pound has climbed 0.64% to $1.3011 against the dollar today and 0.38% to €1.1958 against the euro.
The price of Brent Crude futures has fallen 0.96% to $55.76 a barrel.
Personal finance reporter
Holidaymakers lucky enough to travel into Europe during the February half-term holiday are getting an extra boost from the value of the pound.
Sterling is close to its highest level against the euro since the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum, with tourist rates also at recent highs.
The pound is fetching more than €1.17 in bureaux de change, but there are warnings that far worse rates are offered in airports.
Meanwhile, the pound is continuing to trade at about €1.20 and $1.30 on the currency markets, where rates are higher than those offered to tourists.
The pound is still trading around the €1.20 and $1.30 levels, largely hanging on to the gains it made after Rishi Sunak was announced as the new chancellor. But at least one expert, Prof Costas Milas of the University of Liverpool's Management School, thinks it's an "extremely premature" rise that finds the currency "wrong-footed" by news of Sajid Javid’s resignation.
"Markets are rushing to value positively the prospect of looser fiscal policy which will, presumably, stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, currency celebrations are really premature," he says.
"What financial markets are missing is that [Mr] Javid’s departure has to do with his refusal to allow sound economic policy to be dictated by non-economic experts and the political cycle.
"In other words, future economic policy will most likely be clouded by a mixture of political considerations and an increased risk of 'boom and bust' fiscal expansion."
The pound "seems to like this reshuffle," says Neil Wilson of Markets.com.
He notes that the pound fell against the dollar after Sajid Javid resigned as chancellor. But it swiftly rebounded through 1.30 toward 1.30240 when Rishi Sunak was announced as his replacement.
Gilt yields also moved higher, with the market betting on "more spending, less austerity and more growth," under the new chancellor.
Mr Wilson describes the move as a "blatant power grab by Boris and Cummings over the Treasury".
"Boris Johnson is taking the Kirstie Allsopp approach to how to make Number 10 and Number 11 work for him: that is, just knock through.
"The fiscal floodgates are about to open – whatever brake the Treasury might have had on Number 10 has been cut entirely with this move."