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Pound's plunge stokes fear of 'flash crashes' driven by computers

'Hard Brexit' speculation sets off hair-trigger reaction

TOKYO -- The specter of "flash crashes" triggered by computer-initiated selling is haunting the foreign exchange markets, with the latest plunge of the British pound adding to the anxiety.

Early on Monday, Japan time, the pound touched $1.1980, its lowest level against the greenback since Oct. 7. On that day in October, the currency dropped 9% in less than a minute.

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