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Options traders are paying the most to protect against price swings in six months' time compared with historical volatility since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed during the 2008 credit crisis. Twenty-nine out of 34 economists in a Bloomberg survey said the pound will drop to $1.35 or below within a week if the U.K. votes to leave the European Union – levels last seen in 1985, Bloomberg reported.
"The pound's vulnerability would extend beyond the knee-jerk political risk premium reaction to a 'Brexit' vote," HSBC Holdings Plc currency strategists Dominic Bunning and David Bloom wrote in a note. "It would raise questions over the future health of U.K. export growth, not least for financial-services exports." Britain's current-account deficit means "the pound can ill afford any additional widening," they wrote.
Sterling dropped 0.9% to $1.3893 as of 11:27 London time. The three-day drop against the dollar is the most since June 2009. It weakened for a third day against the single currency, dropping 0.6% on Wednesday to 79.03 pence per euro.......