Pound gains as Leadsom pulls out of British PM race, leaves May as only candidate

by Marianna Aragao

Andrea Leadsom, a candidate to become the next Conservative Party leader and British prime minister, rules herself out of the leadership battle during a news conference in central London, Britain July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Andrea Leadsom, a candidate to become next Conservative Party leader and British prime minister, rules herself out of leadership battle during a news conference in London. REUTERS/Neil Hall

The pound advanced against the dollar as Conservative Party leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom announced she was withdrawing from the contest.

The currency was as much as 0.8 percent lower earlier Monday before the BBC reported Leadsom was about to quit. The decision leaves Theresa May as the only candidate in the race to be Britain’s next prime minister.

“The battle for the leadership could have been protracted” which would mean “additional uncertainty for the already battered pound,” said Petr Krpata, a currency strategist at ING Groep NV in London.

The U.K. currency added 0.1 percent to $1.2967 as of 12:21 p.m. London time. It fell to the lowest level since 1985 last week.

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