Pound steady with Brexit talks due to kick off

The British pound was holding steady on Monday, as investors awaited the start of formal Brexit talks between the U.K. and the European Union, while London faced the fallout from another suspected terror attack.

The pound

GBPUSD, +0.1643%

 traded virtually unchanged at $1.2778 from late Friday in New York. David Davis, the U.K.’s Brexit Secretary, and his team will on Monday begin talks with the EU’s chief negotiator Michael Barnier and his colleagues in Brussels to discuss Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The talks are due to start hours after a van ploughed into pedestrians near a North London mosque late Sunday, killing one person and injuring several others. Police are investigating the incident as a potential terror attack. It comes less than three weeks after a terror attack near London Bridge, in which assailants drove a van into pedestrians and then went on a deadly stabbing spree.

The incident in London is the latest shock to Britain, where Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure as she tries to put together a government, after a general election that ended in a hung parliament. In addition, she has been roundly criticized over her response to a devastating fire at a tower block in London last week that left dozens dead and many missing.

Read: U.K. official says material in deadly London high-rise fire was illegal

Against the yen

GBPJPY, +0.32%

the pound rose to ¥142.26 from ¥141.67. Against the euro

EURJPY, +0.14%

 , the British currency held steady at €1.1411.

The euro

EURUSD, -0.0447%

 was steady against the dollar at $1.1199 from levels seen late Friday in New York.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche party won a firm majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday, strengthening the position of the pro-Europe movement against nationalist forces that crept to the spotlight last year. The election result means Macron will also now have the mandate to push through economic reforms.

The dollar was little changed, according to the widely watched ICE U.S. Dollar Index

DXY, +0.09%

 , which tracks the buck against a basket of six rivals. The index stood at 97.231, up 0.1% from Friday.

The WSJ Dollar Index

BUXX, +0.07%

a measure of the greenback against 16 major currencies, also rose 0.1% to 88.52.

The dollar

USDJPY, +0.17%

 strengthened against the yen, rising to ¥111.70 from ¥110.88 late Friday. The yen weakened after news that Japan exports posted the biggest jump since 2015.

Read Asian markets starting off the week strong

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