Sterling rose half a percent in early London trading on Friday and the euro added to gains in the past 24 hours on expectations that the killing of a pro-EU British lawmaker may alter the balance of opinion in Britain's referendum on EU membership.
Speculation was rife among traders after the murder of Jo Cox on Thursday that Prime Minister David Cameron might push back the vote due to take place on June 23. Concerns Britain would send a shockwave through global financial markets and European politics by voting to leave the 28-country bloc have prompted a flood of money into traditional safe havens such as the yen and the Swiss franc. By 1120 GMT, sterling was up 0.6 percent at $1.4276, almost 3 cents above Thursday's lows. It also gained 0.2 percent to 78.85 pence per euro. The single currency firmed a third of a percent to $1.1257 from a two-week low of $1.1131.
The yen also remained within sight of almost two-year highs of 103.55 yen hit against the dollar on Thursday.