UK Markets open in 5 hrs 22 mins

Pound set for 15th day of losses against euro after May’s resignation

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Prime minister Theresa May announces her resignation outside number 10 Downing Street. Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The pound made marginal gains against the dollar on Friday following prime minister Theresa May’s announcement that she would resign on 7 June.

Friday looks let to be the 15th consecutive day of losses against the euro, however, with the pound now down less than 0.1% against the common currency of the European Union, to €1.13 (GBPEUR=X).

On Wednesday, the pound set a record for its longest-ever losing streak against the euro.

The pound was up by less than 0.1% against the US dollar on Friday afternoon, to $1.26 (GBPUSD=X).

It had risen more significantly against both the euro and dollar earlier Friday morning as it became clear that May would announce her resignation, but reversed course slightly following the news.

The pound was losing against the euro by Friday afternoon.

May’s announcement follows months of mounting pressure over her failure to deliver Brexit.

READ MORE: Theresa May resigns as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party

The pound this week slumped to a four-month low against the euro amid the increasing political uncertainty.

In her speech Friday morning, May said she had “done her best” to deliver on the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” she said.

So far this month, the pound has lost more than 3% of its value, in one of the worst periods for the currency since the referendum itself.

The attention of investors will now turn to the Conservative leadership race, as markets try to determine how the next prime minister will overcome the Brexit stalemate.

“The Conservative Party leadership election is likely to result in a Brexiteer in Number 10, possibly pushing for a no-deal exit from the European Union,” said Rehan Ansari, an analyst at Caxton.

“This, combined with a possible prolonged leadership contest, is likely to see sterling face further stiff political headwinds,” he said.

In a statement, Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, warned that May’s resignation “must be now be a catalyst for change.”

Saying that while May left office “with the respect of business,” the political environment was not “not working.”

“We call on politicians from all parties, on all those ambitious to lead, to take this chance for a fresh start.”