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December 12, 2019 @ 14:08 +03:00
With British voters heading to the polls on Thursday for the third time in four years, markets have mostly priced in a majority for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. YouGov’s final poll projected a 28-seat majority, considerably tighter than previous estimates, and indicated that neither a hung parliament nor a more comprehensive Conservative majority can be ruled out.
Sterling slid on Wednesday morning as some caution returned to a currency market which had largely priced in a clear Conservative victory. Speculative sterling shorts, in which investors bet on the pound depreciating, have reduced considerably since mid-September. While a Conservative majority is seen as the most sterling-positive result, the impact of various potential outcomes would likely be asymmetrical, with less pronounced gains on the market-friendly outcome and more meaningful losses should Labour surprise.
A hung parliament would send EUR/GBP towards £0.87 and GBP/USD down towards $1.26 over the next few days as sterling speculative shorts are rebuilt. “On a short-term basis, sterling is trading more than 2% expensive versus the euro because market is already partly pricing in that market friendly outcome. If it is a Conservative victory, indeed there will be gains, but they will be less pronounced than the losses in the case of a hung parliament,” he told CNBC. The unlikely outcome of a fragile Labour-led minority government would cause the biggest downside shock to GBP. If the exit poll shows a surprising amount of red, sterling could be driven down to $1.24 and the euro up to £0.89.