Under Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK has been active in pursuing bilateral trade agreements in the run-up to its exit from the EU. Photo: Reuters, Kirsty Wigglesworth

British Prime Minister Theresa May surprised investors on Tuesday when she called for a snap election to be held on June 8, despite earlier insistence on waiting until the planned ballot in 2020.

The pound surged to its strongest level in more than two months as British stocks fell to their lowest point over the same period.

“Overall, markets are seeing this as a bit of security and something that will strengthen our negotiating power as we go through the Brexit process,” Reuters quoted Alex Edwards, head of currency dealing at money transfer firm OSF, as saying.