The pound declined against its major counterparts in the European session on Wednesday, weighed by political uncertainty in the U.K., as the nation’s international development secretary Priti Patel has cut short her trip to Asia amid allegations of having undisclosed meetings with Israeli politicians.
Patel, who was on a visit to Africa, has been ordered to fly back to London by May.
Patel came under fire over a secret trip to Israel, where she held 12 undisclosed meetings, including one with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without reporting the Foreign Office or government in advance.
Breaching protocol, Patel visited the Golan Heights and discussed the possibility of U.K. funding to be used for the medical treatment for Syrians displaced by civil war.
The accusation came a week after the resignation of the defense minister Michael Fallon following allegations of sexual harassment.
In the economic front, UK firms plan to continue to lift their investment moderately over the coming year, according to Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions published by Bank of England.
However, investment growth was expected to be somewhat weaker over the following two years. “Economic uncertainty was the biggest drag on investment plans,” the summary showed.
The currency has been trading in a negative territory in the Asian session.
The pound slipped to 2-day lows of 1.3091 against the dollar and 1.3082 against the franc, from its early highs of 1.3176 and 1.3171, respectively. On the downside, 1.30 is likely seen as the next support level for the pound against both the greenback and the franc, respectively.
The pound fell to near a 3-week low of 148.56 against the Japanese yen, reversing from an early high of 150.13. Continuation of the pound’s downtrend may see it challenging support around the 147.00 area.
Preliminary data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan’s leading index declined as expected in September, after strengthening in the previous month.
The leading index, which measures the future economic activity, dropped to 106.6 in September from 107.2 in August, which was the highest score since February 2014. The figure also matched consensus estimate.
The U.K. currency weakened to a 2-day low of 0.8853 against the euro, off its previous high of 0.8797. The next possible support for the pound is seen around the 0.90 region.
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