Pound slips on Article 50 news

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Pound slips on Article 50 news

  • 20 March 2017
  • From the section Business
Market trader (file picture)Image copyright Getty Images

The value of the pound slipped as the government said it would officially notify the European Union next Wednesday that the UK is leaving.

Sterling had risen against the dollar in morning trade, but the news that Article 50 would be triggered on 29 March sent it lower.

By midday, the pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at $1.2387. Against the euro it fell 0.2% to 1.1521 euros.

On the stock market, the FTSE 100 was down 7.45 points at 7,417.51.

"The pound dropped sharply after we received the news that traders have been waiting for - Theresa May will trigger Article 50 next week," said Neil Wilson at ETX Capital.

"Despite the fact it's a known quantity we have to assume that the stark reality of exiting the European Union is hitting home."

Among individual shares, oil giant BP fell 1% as the price of oil declined.

Primark owner Associated British Foods was the biggest riser in the FTSE 100, up 1.7%, as Goldman Sachs improved its rating on the company to "buy" from "neutral".

Shares in Vodafone were unmoved by news that it had merged its Indian mobile business with Cellular, India's third-largest network. The deal will create India's largest mobile operator. Vodafone's shares inched down 0.2% to 211p.