The pound tumbled more than one percent against the dollar Monday, as Britain’s Sun newspaper said Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to abandon post-Brexit trade talks with the European Union.
The Sun reported on its website that “Johnson is ready to pull out of talks ‘within hours’ over EU demands”.
Sterling slumped 1.2 percent against the dollar and was down 1.0 percent versus the euro.
And after gaining slightly at the open, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 stocks index was down 0.2 percent.
Losses across the eurozone were sharper, with Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index sliding 0.7 percent and the Paris CAC 40 slumping 1.0 percent.
“Sterling-risks to Brexit no-deal endgames were exposed this morning as the chatter was less optimistic than many of us thought it would be,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com.
Negotiations remained blocked over fishing rights, rules for fair trade and an enforcement mechanism, European diplomats said.
But talks will continue despite the tight timetable for the European Parliament to ratify an accord before the UK leaves the single market on December 31, with one source stressing that “substance will take precedence over the calendar”.
© Agence France-Presse