The pound and euro held weaker in Asia on Monday as policymakers in Japan and China vowed support and investors assessed the next steps in financial markets after last week’s U.K. vote to leave the European Union.
GBP/USD fell 2.012 to 1.3390 and the EUR/USD dropped 0.88% to 1.1019. USD/JPY changed hands at 101.65, down 0.57%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7407, down 0.75%.
The U.S. dollar index gained 0.718% to 96.31.
In New Zealand, the trade balance showed a NZ$358 million surplus in May month-on-month, well above the surplus of NZ$164 million seen, with the year-on-year figure at a deficit of NZ$3.63 billion, nearly the same as the previous month.
NZD/USD traded at 0.7084, down 0.67% after the data.
In the week ahead, further comments on the timing of a notification, if any, to the European Union will be closely watched. As well, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak at an ECB central bank conference in Portugal on Wednesday, with investors looking for indications on how Brexit will alter the outlook for the U.S. economy and the path of interest rates.
The U.S. is to release revised estimates on first quarter growth on Tuesday.
Last week, the pound plunged on Friday, suffering its largest one-day selloff in recent history; while the dollar and the yen soared as a shock U.K. vote to exit the European Union reverberated around global markets.
The U.K. voted by nearly 52% to 48% on Thursday to break away from the world’s biggest trading bloc.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had backed the failed Remain campaign, stepped down after the final referendum result was announced.
Sterling tumbled amid fears that the decision could hit investment in the U.K. economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital and trigger months of political uncertainty.
The vote could lead to a breakup of the U.K., with Scotland now highly likely to hold a second independence referendum.
Ratings agency Moody’s warned Friday that it may downgrade the U.K.’s credit rating as it lowered the outlook to “negative” from “stable” after the country voted to leave the EU.
Moody’s said the result would herald “a prolonged period of uncertainty”. Rival ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, the only one of three major ratings agencies that still has a AAA rating on Britain, said Friday the Brexit vote meant the AAA rating was no longer tenable.
GBP/USD stood at 1.3616 late Friday, down 8% for the day, having fallen as low as 1.3228 earlier, its weakest level since mid-1985. It was the worst day for the pound since the currency’s devaluation in 1967.
The pound found some support after the Bank of England announced it was ready to pump £250 billion to aid the smooth running of markets, declaring it will take “all necessary steps” to ensure financial and monetary stability.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the BoE would consider in the coming weeks whether to take additional policy responses.
Central banks from the G7 group also said in a joint statement that they were prepared to provide additional liquidity to markets as needed.
The euro fell 2.3% against the dollar on Friday, with EUR/USD at 1.1120 late Friday.
The yen surged against the dollar, with USD/JPY hitting lows of 99.03, last seen in November 2013.