Pound LIVE: Sterling SOARS as Conservatives scoop huge win – FTSE 250 at record high

The Conservative Party has secured a majority in the General Election 2019. At the time of writing, one seat was yet to be announced. However, the results show the Conservatives won 364 seats – with 326 being needed for a majority. What has happened to the pound to euro and pound to dollar exchange rate amid the results?

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Friday December 13 – 12:44pm

Today, the FTSE 250 hit a record high, leaping more than four percent.

Commenting on the FTSE 250, Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The FTSE 250 is up by quite a bit more than the megacaps of the FTSE 100, with a rise of four percent.

“This is because the mid-cap benchmark contains more names which rely on the UK for their business and a stronger pound may even help them, by capping imported raw material costs for them, tamping down inflation and therefore putting more money in consumers’ pockets on a real-terms, post-inflation basis.

“Leading gainers therefore include mortgage lender Virgin Money UK (which may also be responding to pre-election promises to look at cutting stamp duty land tax), estate agent Savills, house builder Bellway, buy-to-let lender OneSavings Bank and builders’ merchant Travis Perkins.

“Other notable gainers include firms who have dodged the threat of having their assets nationalised, such as rail franchise operators Stagecoach and Go-Ahead Group and water utility Pennon.”

Friday December 13 – 10:00am

Following the news, Michael Brown, Senior Analyst at Caxton has said the pound to euro exchange rate is close to a three-and-a-half year high, while the pound is trading at an 18 month high against the dollar.

Commenting on the pound, Mr Brown said: “After yesterday’s general election resulted in a Tory landslide, Sterling has skyrocketed by more than two percent, with the margin of victory being much wider than markets had priced in.

“The pound is currently trading near a three-and-a-half year high against the euro and an 18 month high against the dollar.

“The election outcome is the ideal one for sterling for three reasons. Firstly, the Tories have won a clear majority, allowing a smooth and orderly Brexit to take place at the end of January.

“Secondly, with such a vast majority, PM Johnson has a significant degree of flexibility over the Brexit process, perhaps to pursue a ‘softer’ Brexit and closer relationship with the EU or to extend the transition period if he desires to do either.

“Thirdly, after Labour’s disastrous night, the market is pricing out ‘Corbyn risk’ with the Labour leader’s tenure clearly over.

“Going forward, sterling should remain relatively well-supported, with focus likely remaining on the Brexit process rather than the economic fundamentals.”

Friday December 13 – 9:56am

Amid the General Election 2019 results, holidaymakers have been issued with some insight.

Rob Stross, CMO of the UK’s number one P2P travel money provider commented: “With this election result, the pound gained in value dramatically, meaning holidaymakers will get more foreign currency per pound than yesterday.

“However, Brexit is still looming and has caused huge fluctuations in value, so holidaymakers should look at planning ahead to get the best deal rather than wait until the day before they travel.”

Friday December 13 – 8:51am

At 8:51am, the pound to euro exchange rate was 1.2005, while the pound to dollar exchange rate was 1.3413.

Phil McHugh, Chief Market Analyst at Currencies Direct, commented: “In the run up to polling day, the markets have been proved completely right by pricing in a Conservative majority- traders will only wish they were more aggressive in building their long GBP positions ahead of the vote.

“The sheer size of the majority was truly thumping and helped to push the pound up another leg higher. The Conservative majority now lends clout to Boris Johnson and gives both options and stability in the legislative process not seen for some time.

“The main uplift in the pound was in the run up to and on the release of the exit poll. Focus will now shift to what happens next – we know the first part of Brexit will be delivered with the withdrawal agreement looking sure to sail through.

“However the markets will be keeping a cautious eye on the longer term, with the final trade agreement with the EU still to be negotiated within a very tight timeframe.

“Boris Johnson has stated that he will not extend the transition period and this leaves a no-deal Brexit very much on the table if no agreement or extension is signed by December 31 2020 – this is a key barrier to further GBP upside.

“The PM will no longer have to rely on the DUP or the ERG for that matter. and this will be of note for the markets who will be keen to see if Boris continues on a hard stance or softens at all as focus switches towards the UK/EU trade deal.

“Any move to a softer stance on the deal itself or on accommodating an extension will be welcomed by the pound.

“In the short term we now see gains in the pound capped with attention shifting to the PM’s tone on Brexit delivery and how negotiations develop on the final trade deal.”

Friday December 13 – 7:28am

At 7:28am, the pound was trading at 1.2031, while the pound to US dollar exchange rate was 1.3431.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of international money specialist, Equals (previously known as FairFX) said: “This morning we learned that Boris Johnson will remain as the UK Prime Minister after the Conservatives won with a 72 seat majority (having won 361 seats with 645 of 650 seats declared) which saw the pound react positively as the results of the vote were announced.

“In response to the news, the pound has climbed two percent to 1.206 against the euro compared to yesterday, a high last reached in 2016. The pound has also risen two percent to 1.347 against the US dollar, a 19 month high.

“The rising pound is good news for those travelling into Europe and to the USA over Christmas, giving a boost to holiday spending. Those who have a trip planned in the next few days or early in the new year you should keep a close eye on what the pound is doing if they want to get more from their money.

“Mr Johnson called the general election as he felt a new Parliament was needed in order to break the political impasse over Brexit. Over the coming days it’s likely we’ll see the pound embark on a rocky journey as we wait to find out how Brexit will play out.”

Friday Decemeber 13 – 7:07am

Today, the pound to euro exchange rate opened at 1.1829, according to Bloomberg, while the pound to dollar exchange rate opened at 1.3161.

Michael Brown, Senior Market Analyst at Caxton, told Express.co.uk: “Sterling surged to its highest levels since July 2016 overnight after the Conservatives won a significant majority at the general election.

“The pound’s move comes as markets price in the increased likelihood of a smooth Brexit at the end of January.”

Friday Decemeber 13 – 7:07am

Today, the pound to euro exchange rate opened at 1.1829, according to Bloomberg, while the pound to dollar exchange rate opened at 1.3161.

Michael Brown, Senior Market Analyst at Caxton, told Express.co.uk: “Sterling surged to its highest levels since July 2016 overnight after the Conservatives won a significant majority at the general election.

“The pound’s move comes as markets price in the increased likelihood of a smooth Brexit at the end of January.”

Friday December 13 – 0:00am

The pound has surged against the euro and US dollar.

It comes after Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won the general election with after an exit poll predicted Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party are set to win the general election with a huge majority.

Sterling rocketed 1.85 percent to $1.342 and by 1.09 percent to €1.202 within minutes of the announcement.

The pound has been volatile against both major currencies for several months as markets continue to wait for clarity over Brexit.

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll suggested the Conservatives would win 368 seats – 42 above the 326 needed for an absolute majority in the House of Commons.

Labour is predicted to win 191 seats, the SNP Scottish National Party 55, Liberal Democrats 13, the Brexit Party none, Plaid Cymru three and Greens one.

That would give the majority of 86 and significantly boost the Prime Minister’s chances of quickly getting his Brexit deal voted through Parliament.

Mr Johnson’s election campaign has been based around “Get Brexit Done”, with the Prime Minister promising to take Britain out of the European Union on January 31.

If the exit results prove accurate, the Prime Minister will return to 10 Downing Street on Friday with a huge majority which will, in theory, enable him to drive through his Brexit deal and take the UK out of the EU next month.

It would represent the largest majority for a Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Mr Johnson began his election campaign with just 298 Tory MPs following a number of resignations and others who had the party whip withdrawn when they rebelled over Brexit.

But this would be a monumental blow for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who will twice have led his party to defeat in a general election.

Labour, who had 243 MPs when Parliament was dissolved last month, is forecast to have lost 52 seats.

This result, in terms of seats, would be the worst for Labour since 1935 and would pile huge pressure on Mr Corbyn to quit following his second successive general election defeat.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the exit poll was “extremely disappointing”, adding that Brexit had dominated the campaign.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said it represented a “devastating result for us” and “all the people who were really needing a Labour victory to improve their lives”.

When asked if Labour now needs a new leader, Mr Gardiner replied: “These are things that will be discussed by the leadership of the party in the next few days.”

 

Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, from OANDA Europe also explained why the predicted Conservative win has bought a massive boost for the pound.

He said: “Boris’ gamble that getting Brexit done mattered most to the British public has proven correct and he now has a strong mandate to deliver on the will of people.

“The pound had rallied a little into the result over the last week or so and for once, optimistic sterling traders were not burned.

“The referendum result may have left them a little less confident going into this evening but their faith has been rewarded with the pound jumping more than 2 percent against the US to its highest level in a year and a half.”

Andy Scott, associate director at financial risk advisor JCRA said the exit poll “blew past expectations” and suggests Mr Johnson’s message on Brexit had got across to the public.

He added: “Sterling soared higher by over 2 percent as nervous traders who had been selling sterling during the day, just in case it was another hung parliament, began buying it with gusto.

“I suspect there was as much relief, as there was excitement at the size of the majority that was so unexpected. Sterling is now set to challenge some fairly significant levels against both the euro and the US dollar.

“If sterling breaks above these levels, it could very well drive some big moves higher towards 1.25 and 1.40, at least in the short term.”

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