WASHINGTON – The Latest on global finance meetings (all times local):
Britain’s top finance official is suggesting that the plunge of the British pound is due to the growing realization of investors that Britain has decided to leave the European Union.
The British currency suffered one of its biggest tumbles ever Friday, with the currency sliding 6 per cent in just a couple of minutes to its lowest level in more than three decades, before rebounding.
British Treasury chief Philip Hammond, in Washington for global finance talks, says some market players have been slow to catch up to Britain’s decision in June to leave the EU. Hammond says, “It seems that what’s happened this week is that another bunch of them said ‘hang on a minute, the UK is leaving the European Union.’ “
World finance officials are pledging greater co-operation to deal with rising threats to the global economy stemming from increased political attacks on globalization and from Britain’s decision in June to leave the European Union.
The Group of 20 major economic powers says it will use all available policy tools to support growth in the face of the increased risks, which continue to roil financial markets.
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, the current G-20 chairman, says the risks include the prospect for further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, turbulence from the British vote, geopolitical risks and frequent terror attacks.
Addressing criticism that increased trade has cost jobs, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, says the wrong response would be to raise tariff barriers to reduce trade flows.
World finance officials, still searching for ways to rejuvenate a sluggish global economy, now face the added problem of dealing with a growing anti-trade backlash that threatens to make the economic situation worse.
Officials say the solution is not to abandon support for trade but to make sure the benefits are more widely shared.
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s 20 major economies are scheduled to wrap up their talks Friday.
Attacks on globalization have risen in prominence with the June vote in Britain to leave the European Union and the U.S. presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
The G-20 talks were being held in advance of the annual meetings of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.