Sterling fell across the board on Thursday after worries about the health of the global economy and particularly China sparked an investor exodus from currencies considered riskier.
The pound, already struggling to make headway amid concerns about Britain's departure from the European Union, plummeted to its lowest since April 2017 in early Asian trading after a “flash crash” - triggered by massive stop-loss sales in Japan's yen - forced widespread selling of sterling.
The British currency hit as low as $1.2409 against the dollar, while it fell to as weak as 91.02 pence per euro, a 16-month low.
Markets had stabilised somewhat by 1600 GMT but the pound was still lower. Against the dollar it dropped 0.1 percent to $1.2593. Versus the euro it was 0.6 percent weaker at 90.50 pence.