Comments from various bank analysts from around the place

Collated via Reuters:

  • "Low liquidity amplified the move. People suspect a 'fat finger' triggered stop-loss orders," said Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo.
  • "The move coincided with an FT story about French President Hollande demanding tough Brexit negotiations. The move was exacerbated once stops were tripped below a key level of $1.2600 in very thin trading before the U.S. payrolls," said Su-Lin Ong, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets.
  • "This is still the thinnest time of day for anything pretty much, the gap between New York and Tokyo. It's probably the time of day where you'll get the sharpest move for the smallest amount of selling but really we didn't see a news catalyst for it," said Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac . Sterling has been "on a precipice since Sunday, since Theresa May and the March Brexit negotiations," he said, adding, "I think we've underestimated how many people had money positions for a very wishy-washy Brexit, or even none."

via Bloomberg:

  • Derek Mumford, a director at Rochford Capital Pty in Sydney: "The speed of the move looks like a kind of a flash crash, some sort of failure," Mumford said, adding that sterling is set to drop to $1.15 in the coming weeks if it doesn't recover above $1.28. "I'm sort of struggling to justify it. I don't think there's any shock that the EU will be going for a hard Brexit."
  • On Hollande's remarks .... "Such comments on their own would not be enough to cause a plunge on this scale, but once a move gets going in thin liquidity it can snowball quickly," said Gareth Berry, a foreign-exchange and rates strategist in Singapore at Macquarie Bank Ltd. While the pound "may recover to the $1.25 area today, all technical support has now been obliterated, so sterling is doomed from here over the months ahead."
  • "It looks like it was a algorithm-driven flash crash triggered by a Financial Times article based on French President Hollande's speech on Brexit," said Angus Nicholson, a markets analyst in Melbourne at IG Ltd. "Given low volumes in the Asian session, it would have forced other algorithms to join in and magnify the fall."