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LONDON (AP) -- The British currency has jumped to its highest level in half a year on the news that the country will hold an election that's likely to strengthen the government's mandate in its Brexit talks.

The pound's rise suggests investors believe Prime Minister Theresa May will win a comfortable enough majority in the House of Commons. That could help her resist pressure from fringe members of her own party who want Britain to break away from the European Union abruptly and forcefully - even if it means more pain for business.

The pound surged 1.6 percent on the day to $1.2763, the highest in six months. And experts say more volatility is likely ahead of the June 8 vote.

"No one was expecting this," said Luke Bartholomew, investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. "It will take investors some time to digest the effects of the election in the next few days."

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