June 17, 2019 / 8:51 AM / 5 months ago

Pound extends six-week losing streak as Johnson's lead grows

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - The pound extended a six-week losing streak against the euro on Monday, as concern grew that Britain was heading for a no-deal Brexit after Boris Johnson got a boost in his bid to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who dropped out of the race on Friday after winning just 20 votes in the first ballot of Conservative lawmakers, said Johnson was the best candidate to lead the party.

Johnson, the face of the official Brexit campaign in the 2016 referendum, has promised to lead the United Kingdom out of the EU with or without an agreement by Oct. 31.

“Euro/sterling can trade to 92 (pence) and possibly to 95 (pence) this autumn as investors digest the trade-off between a no-deal Brexit and early elections,” ING strategists said in a daily note.

On Monday, the pound edged 0.1% lower against the euro to 89.10 pence. It was steady against the dollar , around $1.2583.

A median forecast for the chance of a disorderly Brexit rose to 25% in a June 11-14 Reuters poll, up from the 15% in May.

Latest positioning data also indicated markets were getting cautious about the pound, with speculative bets against the British currency rising to a four-week high.

The second round of voting in the Tory leadership contest is set for Tuesday, with the result due around 1700 GMT. Any candidate with 32 votes or fewer is eliminated. If all candidates have more than 32 votes, the one with the fewest is eliminated.

Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; editing by Larry King

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