STERLING plummeted yesterday to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, dropping nearly six cents from its close in London on Tuesday amid the intensifying coronavirus crisis.

The pound dropped as far as $1.1459. This took it below the $1.1491 low to which it sank in the October 2016 “flash crash”, to its weakest since March 1985, according to data from Refinitiv.

HeraldScotland: Camley's Cartoon: Pound plunges to lowest level since 1985.Camley's Cartoon: Pound plunges to lowest level since 1985.

Sterling also tumbled against the euro. The single currency was, at around 5.38pm, trading around 93.8p, up by nearly 2.75p from its Tuesday close in London.

The pound was, at around 5.38pm, trading around $1.1560, down by nearly five cents on its Tuesday close.

Sterling’s fall comes in the wake of a £350bn financial aid package announced by the UK Government to tackle the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

The dollar is benefiting from its "safe-haven" status. And financial market players have this week highlighted a view that the euro has gained against the pound partly because the single currency is regarded as having a superior safe-haven status relative to sterling.

Brent crude has sunk to a 17-year low below $26 a barrel, down by 11 per cent on the day.