October 5, 2017 / 9:12 AM / 15 days ago

Sterling bounces as May says will provide "calm leadership"

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s pound rose from four-week lows against the dollar on Friday, after Prime Minister Theresa May hit back at a plot to topple her by saying she would provide “calm leadership” to the country.

It emerged earlier on Friday that 30 of May’s lawmakers were backing a plan to replace her as prime minister.

Sterling briefly topped $1.31 GBP=D3 after the statement, up from $1.3052 beforehand, before easing back a touch to trade at $1.3080 by 1145 GMT, still down 0.2 percent on the day.

“The market was potentially looking for May to resign - her comments...suggest otherwise,” said Neil Jones, Mizuho’s head of currency sales for hedge funds.

“(Her comments) tell you she is not going to quit voluntarily. I would suggest the rally will prove to be a knee-jerk relief rally-type reaction, and likely limited on the upside,” he added.

Britain's FTSE .FTSE dropped as sterling gained, though still traded up on the day, last up 0.1 percent.

Reporting by Jemima Kelly and Helen Reid; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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