Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party will fail to win a parliamentary majority in Britain’s election, according to an exit poll on Thursday, a result that would plunge domestic politics into turmoil and could delay Brexit talks.
Following are comments from financial market analysts.
Jason Ware, Chief Investment Officer at Albion Financial in Salt Lake City, Utah:
” This is an exit poll… there is a lot to figure out over the next few hours. The pound is getting hit in the aftermarket and that’s probably a symptom of uncertainty.
“If there are any changes to Brexit it’s probably a more globalized, softer Brexit which could be positive if anything. The biggest concern for markets last year when we went through Brexit was this could be the beginning of the end of the cooperation of the European Union and euro zone … and that the UK could go into recession. But if we get more of a softer Brexit or more of a globalist stance from the UK… its good for Europe, the UK and U.S. assets.”
Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, Newport Beach, California:
“With initial exit polls pointing to the Tories losing seats and that Prime Minister May’s early election gamble is not paying off, markets are pricing in a more complex outlook for policy implementation, including Brexit.”
Joe O’Leary, Senior FX Trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California:
“There’s certainly some downside risk for the pound if the exit poll bears out. Theresa May’s position as PM looks more uncertain than it did earlier today. Right now I expect mostly volatility. You think there would be some strengthening in the safe-haven currencies, but the dollar/yen have not moved much. It might just be because of thin trading and some skepticism about the exit poll.”
Paul Nolte, Portfolio Manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago:
“We could see probably a day or two of jumping around. We saw this with the Brexit vote – that was very unexpected. We got the selloff and the markets rallied back.
“So initially it could be a negative but it also depends on the makeup of Parliament.
“The political and the economic are separate here. While it’s politically interesting, like Brexit, the French election, the U.S. election etc, it really is going to start to depend on what they’re able to do economically and whether they’re going to able to push through any legislation, change anything etc. And that we have no idea on.”
Stephen Simonis Sr., Chief Currency Consultant, FXDD Global, New York:
“It is vital to realize that this move happened at 5 p.m. NY time after markets have closed. This is an extremely illiquid time. And while one can understand why GBP would be lower on the Tories’ lack of a majority, this move seems extreme. Certainly, electronic stop losses were triggered along the way to further exaggerate the move.
“Much lies ahead for England with the negotiations coming up and the recent terror attacks continue to be an ongoing issue. In the short term, the drop seems extreme and we expect a bounce back up in the pound; in the longer term we can see the pound pushing lower towards 1.2500.”
Dean Turner, Economist at UBS Wealth Management:
“Should the poll prove accurate, it is likely that the pound will give up the bulk of its post-election announcement gains. After this, retreating back to the low 1.20 levels versus the U.S. dollar is a very real possibility. Nevertheless, sterling has steadied following the initial sell-off and there are few signs that anxiety has spread into other markets just yet.”
Samuel Tombs, Chief UK Economist, Pantheon Macroeconomics:
“This exit poll is a thunderbolt that leaves only two outcomes realistically in play: a slender Tory majority or a hung parliament. The exit poll’s biggest error in the last two decades was in 2015 when it under-predicted the Conservatives’ seats by 14. We see the risks to the seat projection as evenly balanced, given that its estimate was slightly too high in the four previous elections.”
Lee Hardman, Currency Analyst at MUFG:
“The market will be praying that this exit poll has got it wrong. Currency volatility is the best proxy for market fears. If the Conservative ship is sinking then the market will be looking for a lifeboat.”
Alan Clarke, Head European Fixed-Income Strategy, Scotiabank:
“There has got to be a good chance that (May) stands down as prime minister in this environment. The betting websites have Boris Johnson as 2:1 to be the next prime minister after Theresa May.”
Paul Hollingsworth, Economist, Capital Economics:
“The economy looks set to face a period of uncertainty about the outlook for policy, Brexit and the possibility of another election. Admittedly, the exit poll could yet be proved wrong.”
Kathy Lien, Managing Director, BK Asset Management, New York:
“It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see pound/dollar drop below $1.26 or even $1.25. All of the sterling crosses are down. All of that is significant.”
Jordan Rochester, FX Strategist, Nomura:
“This is the hung parliament territory, it’s also what we had for the last election pretty much, but then the real numbers on the night came up with a majority, so it’s not over yet, folks. But we possibly have the Labour + Scottish National Party + Liberal Democrat coalition possibility in play here. But it’s still hard to form a coalition with Labour + others here, given their total only reaches the same number more or less than that of the Conservatives.”
Craig Erlam, Analyst with OANDA in London:
“A hung parliament is the worst outcome from a markets perspective as it creates another layer of uncertainty ahead of the Brexit negotiations and chips away at what is already a short timeline to secure a deal for Britain.”
(Reporting by Noel Randewich, Richard Leong, Jennifer Ablan, Megan Davies and Dion Rabouin in NEW YORK, Patrick Graham in LONDON; Editing by Mark Trevelyan; Compiled by William Schomberg; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)