Accidental 'fat finger' trade hits sterling value

The mistake comes at a time of heightened volatility as the Brexit referendum looms

Accidental 'fat finger' trade hits sterling value

Chris Radburn / PA

Pound sterling values fluctuated this morning, rising by more than 1% following an apperent accidental "fat finger" trade, where a trader enters the wrong number during a transaction.

Shortly after 5:00am Sterling rose from $1.448 to $1.464 before quickly falling. The source of the trade has not been indentified.

These trades ofter automatically trigger counter trades to avoid losses and minimise market disruption.

This spike caused jitters, especially after pound values did genuinely move after new poll data indicated a swing towards support for the 'out campaign' in the up-coming Brexit referendum.

Sterling volatility surged to levels not seen since the financial crisis yesterday after three separate opinion polls put the Leave campaign in the lead just two and half weeks ahead of the vote on June 23rd.

The pound fell by as much as 1.5 cent or 1.2% against the dollar to $1.45.3 after the polls were released, while sterling weakened by more than a cent to 78 cent against the euro.

Meanwhile, a PWC survey of Irish chief executives published last night shows that while more than 90% of them say a possible Brexit is the top threat to business growth just one in ten have carried out any serious planning for its impact.