* U.K. PM May says Brexit process to begin by March
* Stronger-than-forecast U.S. factory data lifts dollar
* Colombia peso stumbles after voters reject peace deal
(Updates market action, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
By Richard Leong
NEW YORK, Oct 3 Sterling fell on Monday near a
31-year low against the dollar and to a three-year low versus
the euro after a March deadline was set for the start of the
formal process that will split Britain from the European Union.
The dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies on a
private report that showed the U.S. manufacturing sector
returned to expansion territory in September.
Among emerging markets, the Colombia peso shed as much as 3
percent against the greenback after voters on Sunday rejected a
peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels, raising worries about the
nation's credit ratings and ability to embark on tax reforms.
As Colombians voted on Sunday, British Prime Minister
Theresa May told her Conservative party's annual conference that
she was determined to move on with Brexit and win the "right
deal" in an effort to ease fears inside her party that she may
delay the split with the EU.
"That caught the market by surprise with some people still
hoping Brexit won't happen," said Mazen Issa, senior FX
strategist at TD Securities in New York.
With the timeline set to trigger Article 50 of the EU's
Lisbon Treaty, Britain would redefine its ties with Europe, its
biggest trading partner.
May's Brexit comments came after the pound posted its worst
run of quarterly losses since 1984.
It dropped more than 1 percent against the dollar to as low
as $1.2818. That left it less than half a cent away
from the 31-year low it reached in early July, shortly after the
June 23 vote to leave the EU.
Sterling also shed 0.8 percent against the euro at 87.28
pence after it hit 87.48 pence, its weakest since
The greenback enjoyed a modest rise in light trading as some
European and Asian markets were closed for holidays.
The dollar index was up 0.3 percent at 95.747 after the
Institute for Supply Management said its barometer on U.S.
factory activity rose to 51.5 in September, above the 49.4 in
August and 50.5 forecast among economists polled by Reuters.
A reading above 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is
While the overall ISM reading on factory activity was
encouraging, it was not enough to raise expectations the U.S.
economy is picking up steam.
"It's not runaway support for the dollar," TD's Issa said.
Meanwhile, the Colombian peso tumbled to its weakest level
against the dollar in two weeks after Sunday's referendum on a
peace deal between the government and FARC guerrillas.
Any renegotiated agreement now seems to depend on whether
the FARC could accept some tougher sanctions against them.
The Colombian peso was last down 1.8 percent at 2,932 to the
Currency bid prices at 12:27PM (1627 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1213 $1.1238 -0.22% +3.25% +1.1243 +1.1206
Dollar/Yen JPY= 101.5300 101.3300 +0.20% -15.74% +101.6500 +101.2200
Euro/Yen EURJPY= 113.84 113.90 -0.05% -13.59% +114.0800 +113.6200
Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9733 0.9714 +0.20% -2.84% +0.9744 +0.9697
Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.2841 1.2975 -1.03% -12.87% +1.2946 +1.2818
Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3130 1.3127 +0.02% -5.12% +1.3144 +1.3069
Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7664 0.7654 +0.13% +5.35% +0.7681 +0.7641
Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.0919 1.0918 +0.01% +0.30% +1.0927 +1.0902
Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8729 0.8660 +0.80% +18.49% +0.8747 +0.8661
NZ Dollar/Dolar NZD= 0.7263 0.7281 -0.25% +6.42% +0.7290 +0.7254
Dollar/Norway NOK= 7.9774 7.9838 -0.08% -9.76% +8.0089 +7.9461
Euro/Norway EURNOK= 8.9440 8.9675 -0.26% -6.84% +8.9978 +8.9295
Dollar/Sweden SEK= 8.5664 8.5717 -0.29% +1.86% +8.5885 +8.5263
Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 9.6072 9.6351 -0.29% +4.40% +9.6465 +9.5767
(Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly in London; Tokyo markets
team; Editing by Larry King and Meredith Mazzilli)