September 16, 2019 / 9:12 AM / 2 months ago

Pound weakens as 'no-deal' Brexit concerns grow

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The pound fell nearly half a percent on Monday as concern revived that Britain will struggle to secure a deal on the terms of its departure from the European Union.

The pound fell to a three-year low below $1.20 earlier this month, then soared more than 4%. Most of the gains came last week, after parliament voted to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek an extension to the current Oct. 31 deadline for leaving the EU if no agreement has been reached.

But no solution is in sight and weekend rhetoric from both Britain and the EU suggests their positions remain far apart. Market focus is shifting to a meeting between Johnson and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday.

“The fact remains there is still a decent chance of Britain not able to secure a deal and that is prompting investors to take profits after last week’s rally,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a currency strategist at Commerzbank based in Frankfurt.

On Monday, the pound fell 0.4% to 1.2448 after briefly popping above $1.25 in early Asian trading, its highest in nearly two months. It weakened by a similar amount against the euro to 88.55 pence.

Futures data shows investors have resumed shorting the pound after a brief pause.

Johnson and his ministers been talking up progress in negotiations with Brussels, but the EU side has sounded less optimistic, putting the onus on Britain to come up with new ideas.

Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee

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