Pound slumps to eight-year low against the euro

The pound has slumped to an eight-year low against the euro, as Brexit uncertainty and strong economic data from the eurozone dragged on the UK currency.
The euro rose amid positive signs for the eurozone economy. Picture: Paul White/APThe euro rose amid positive signs for the eurozone economy. Picture: Paul White/AP
The euro rose amid positive signs for the eurozone economy. Picture: Paul White/AP

Sterling was down 0.5 per cent at €1.083 versus the euro as the London market closed, hitting its lowest level since October 2009.

A rosy update on the eurozone economy gave the euro a leg up against its peers, with PMI figures showing manufacturing export orders climbed at their fastest pace for six-and-a-half years.

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The pound was also struggling against the US dollar, down 0.2 per cent at $1.278.

Simon Phillips, retail director at travel money specialst No1 Currency, said: “The euro’s strength and the fragile pound have conspired to leave British holidaymakers who are planning a trip to Europe with the weakest exchange rate for eight years.

“With no sign of significant relief against the euro, many will surely be considering travelling further afield to locations outside the eurozone, where the pound will likely go much further.”

Meanwhile, a UK government push to phase out the old pound coin is being hampered by firms mistakenly returning its 12-sided replacement.

About half of the coins being delivered to cash centres have turned out to be the new version, slowing efforts to remove the “round pound” from circulation.

The Treasury has called on businesses to be vigilant when sending coins in as the old pound will cease to be legal tender in less than eight weeks’ time.

Andrew Jones, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, urged companies to “maintain the momentum” when it came to returning the old coin.

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He said: “There has been a fantastic effort from both the public and businesses in returning more than one billion old round pounds, and I thank everybody involved in this process so far.

“But there is still more to do before the 15 October deadline. Businesses must remain vigilant when returning coins and ensure old and new coins are organised in separate packaging to make the sorting process quicker and easier.

“We also want cashiers and shopkeepers working at till points, who are truly on the front line of the changeover, to play their part to ensure only new pound coins are given to shoppers in their change.”