U.K. pound plunges more than 6% in mysterious flash crash

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The British pound suffered a jarring flash crash on Friday, nosediving more than 6% against the dollar in a matter of minutes.

The shock move in early trading in Asia left investors stunned and analysts blaming computerized trading programs for intensifying the dizzying drop.

“It was just another quiet day in Asia, and then, Bang! All the lights went red,” said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at ThinkMarkets in Singapore.

smartphone_625x350_81419423807The pound had already sunk to a fresh 31-year low of around $1.26 on Thursday over deepening concerns that the U.K.’s split from the European Union will hurt the country’s economy. Strategists had widely forecast it would go lower, but not as rapidly as it did on Friday.

The flash crash yanked the British currency down to near $1.18, according to Factset. It recovered most of the losses soon afterward to trade around $1.24.

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