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Sterling Rises as New Health Minister Urges Lifting of COVID Restrictions

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LONDON, June 28 Reuters Sterling edged higher on Monday after Britains new health minister, Sajid Javid, said he wants all COVID19 restrictions lifted as soon as possible.

Javid was due to update lawmakers later on Monday on whether restrictions should be removed on July 19 as the government previously indicated. Javid has replaced Matt Hancock, who resigned on Saturday after admitting breaking COVID19 guidance with an affair.

As a former chancellor finance minister he Javid will be more sensitive to the costs suffered by the economy of lockdowns, said Jane Foley, Head of FX Strategy at Rabobank.

Daily positive cases have been rising for a month in Britain but a rapid vaccination programme appears to have weakened the link between infections and deaths, with daily fatalities remaining about 20 or lower.

Sterling rose 0.2 to 1.3896 versus the dollar at 1130 GMT, but it was on track for its worst months against the greenback since September.

Against the euro, the pound rose 0.2 to 85.78 pence, but was still bracing for the worst quarter against the common currency in a year.

Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho Bank attributed sterlings rise to seasonal fluctuations.

Historically the price action does tend to suggest a firm sterling into the end of month and quarter, he said.

This month, sterling dropped for the first time since April below 1.38 against a strengthening dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised markets by signalling it would raise…

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