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Pound falls in Asia on Brexit concerns, yen gains on safe-haven

The pound fell in early Asia on Wednesday as investors show renewed concern over the impact of Brexit and expected moves to ease monetary policy by the Bank of England.

GBP/USD traded at 1.2971, down 0.38%, while the safe-haven yen gained with USD/JPY at 101.20, down 0.54%. AUD/USD fell 0.28% to 0.7441 and the EUR/USD eased 0.08% to 1.1067.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 96.27.

The trading day is seen light regionally with no major data and several markets closed to mark Eid al-Fitr.

Overnight, the dollar pushed higher against the other major currencies on Tuesday, after the release of downbeat U.S. factory orders data, as concerns over the effects of the Brexit vote continued to dampen risk sentiment.

The pound weakened further after the Bank of England warned on Tuesday of “challenging” risks to financial stability following the Brexit vote and eased regulatory requirements on the banking sector.

In its bi-annual financial stability report, the BoE said the risks it had feared ahead of the Brexit poll had started to materialise, as sterling plunged to 31-year lows and as financial stocks tumbled 20%.

Earlier Tuesday, research group Markit said its U.K. services purchasing managers’ index dropped to 52.3 last month from a reading of 53.5 in May. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 52.5 in June.

Despite the fact that the service sector continued to expand, Markit pointed out that the growth over the second quarter as a whole was the slowest since the first quarter of 2013. Markit also noted that 89% of the surveys were submitted before the Brexit vote.



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