LONDON, April 18 British finance minister Philip
Hammond welcomed gains in sterling against the euro and the
dollar on Tuesday following Prime Minister Theresa May's
announcement that she would hold an early election on June 8.
In a rare comment on the strength of Britain's currency -
which tumbled after last year's Brexit vote - Hammond said
Tuesday's gains showed markets were confident that the
Conservative government would win an increased majority.
"The decision that the prime minister has made today is a
decision made very much in the national interest to strengthen
her hand as she goes into the negotiation with the European
Union," Hammond told parliament.
"(The) prime minister's statement this morning has sent
sterling up in the markets, demonstrating the confidence that
the markets have in the future, for this country, under a Tory
(Conservative) government with a new mandate," he added.
(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)