Wavering risk appetite after Manchester blast weighs on sterling, Asia stocks, lifts yen

Sterling slipped on Tuesday after a suspected suicide attack killed at least 22 people and wounded 59 at a pop concert in the English city of Manchester, while the euro held gains made after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “too weak”.

Despite the explosion, at a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande, European markets were poised for a positive, albeit subdued, start.

Financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expected Britain’s FTSE 100 (FTSE) to open up 0.1 percent, and Germany’s DAX (GDAXI) and France’s CAC 40 (FCHI) to start the day little changed.

The attack came just two-and-a-half weeks before an election that British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to win easily, although polls showing that the contest was tightening added to sterling’s woes.

Sterling eased almost 0.2 percent to $1.2978 <gbp=d3>. It fell 0.3 percent on Monday.

The pound dropped 0.4 percent to 144.06 yen (GBPJPY=), after losing 0.2 percent on Monday.

If the blast is confirmed as a terrorist incident, it would be the deadliest attack in Britain by militants since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005.

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