British pound and euro at lowest levels against the dollar in two-plus years

The Britsh pound and euro midday Friday in New York touched their lowest points against the U.S. dollar in more than two years, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Britain‘s currency changed hands at $1.2388, which would be its lowest level against dollars since April 7, 2017, based on 5 p.m. Eastern Time levels. For the euro, the shared currency was at $1.1121, representing the lowest since $1.110. The slide for the pound is notable as it comes as newly minted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has assembled a cabinet that advocates a hard-line stance about leaving the European Union, even if it means doing so without trade agreements in place–a prospect that market participants say could drag sterling to near-parity against bucks. Meanwhile, the euro also looked to be under pressure, plumbing fresh lows a day after the European Central Bank on Thursday said it would take aggressive action to address stubbornly low inflation and growing signs of an economic slowdown in the region. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , a measure of the U.S. dollar against a half-dozen currencies, including the euro and sterling, was up 0.3% at 98.07, trading around its highest level since May, according to FactSet data. The dollar index has gained 0.9% so far this week and 2% over the year, while sterling has lost 1% over the week so far and shed 2.9% year to date. The euro is set for a weekly slide of 0.9% and 2.7% skid against the dollar so far in 2019.

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