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Pound dips as Brexit talks stall

Sterling dipped in early Asia trading Oct. 15 after weekend talks between the U.K. and the European Union on a post-Brexit partnership ended without progress, adding to concerns that Britain could exit the EU without a deal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May sent Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab to Brussels on Oct. 14 to tell the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, that the U.K. will not accept a draft divorce agreement outlined the same day, as the Irish border issue remains a critical sticking point in negotiations, according to the Financial Times. The talks between the two broke off after about an hour, without any further meetings between the U.K. and the EU scheduled before a European Council meeting Oct. 17.

"Despite intense efforts, some key issues are still open, including the backstop for [the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland] to avoid a hard border," Barnier said on Twitter. He recently identified ways to avoid a hard customs border for Ireland and had said an agreement for Britain's exit from the EU looked "within reach" for the Oct. 17 summit.

The pound traded 0.30% lower against the dollar at just over $1.31 as of 1:16 a.m. ET on Oct. 15.

The U.K. is "still committed to making progress" at the upcoming summit, the FT wrote, citing the U.K.'s Brexit Department.