The British pound picked up some pace during the trading session on Thursday following the abrupt resignation of finance minister Sajid Javid in a cabinet shake-up.
The GBP/USD pair is trading at around 1.3030, rising for a fourth consecutive day. The Sterling also strengthened against the euro to its highest level since mid-December, trading at 1.2003 at 13:55 GMT.
Javid, in the role since July 2019, quit Boris Johnson’s government with just four weeks to go until he was due to present its first budget.
He reportedly resigned after refusing the Prime Minister’s demand to sack all his aides and replace them with No. 10 advisers. Javid, who ran for Tory party leader this past summer, was replaced by Rishi Sunak, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
London’s FTSE 100 index of heavyweight shares are down 111 points (1.48 percent), also echoing losses across European and Asian markets over the spread of the new coronavirus, which remains the key focus for investors.
The new strain of pneumonia-like virus – officially named COVID-19 – has already claimed over 1,300 lives and infected nearly 60,000, mostly in China.