UK Election : What Could It Mean To You.

U.K.’s citizens have just voted their next set of Parliament members.

What were the results and why should traders care? Here are a couple of answers:

Why did Theresa May call for snap elections anyway?

Back in mid-April, Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election despite her promises to wait for the May 2020 scheduled elections. The plan was to capitalize on her (and her party’s) popularity and strengthen their numbers ahead of the crucial Brexit negotiations.

Back then the Conservative Party held 330 seats, just a smidge above the 326 required to form a majority in the 650 seats of the Lower House. The Labour Party came in second (229 seats), followed by the Scottish National Party (54) and the Liberal Democrats (9).

The pound rallied at her announcement as market players and their cats had bet on a landslide win for the Tories, with polls attributing double-digit leads against the next party.

Did May’s gamble pay off?

Not even a little bit. In the weeks that followed, May’s hard stance on Brexit, two terror attacks in the U.K., a few REALLY unpopular bits in the Conservative Party manifesto, and hard campaigning from her opponents have pulled the Tories’ lead down to uncomfortable levels.

Fast forward to Election Day and now May’s party has…more regrets than seats in the Parliament.

With a voter turnout of 68.7% – the highest since 1997 – and only one more constituency left undeclared, Theresa May’s Conservative Party is expected to snag 318 seats in the Parliament, 12 fewer than when she called for the elections.

The Labour Party is expected to get 261 seats (+31 seats) while the Liberal Democrats (12) and Democratic Unionist Party (10) also added to their numbers. The Scottish National Party (35) also lost seats, though.

What does this mean for the government?

In a word, trouble. With no party reaching parliamentary majority, the U.K. officially has a “hung Parliament.”

Basically, having a hung Parliament means that it will be harder for the MPs to reach decisions. But as leader of the party with the most seats, May will be given a choice if she wants to (a) form a coalition or (b) run a minority government.

Forming a coalition means teaming up Survival-style to get the required 326 votes. In this scenario the Tories would sign a formal coalition as PM David Cameron did with the Liberal Democrats in 2010. The Tories would have to give up control, though, and likely give Cabinet positions to the other party.

Or they could choose to run a minority government and enter into “confidence and supply” agreements, wherein a small party or independent MPs will “supply” their votes on bills and “confidence” votes in exchange for progress for their pet causes.

What does this mean for Brexit negotiations?

More trouble. Remember that May wanted to reinforce their numbers to improve her bargaining position with the EU and increase chances of a “good deal” for Britain. If you recall, she has said that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

But with the Conservative Party not even getting majority, things just got a lot harder for May. Not only does she have to soften some of her stances (not all Tories are in favor of a hard Brexit), but she might have to scrap some of her plans altogether.

The lack of majority could also lead to delays in the Brexit negotiations. Formal talks was scheduled to start on June 19 but already EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted:

“Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let’s put our minds together on striking a deal.”

Recall that Britain has already officially triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This means that they have two years to negotiate their way out of the EU. Tick tock.

Any other surprises?

As you can see on the chart above, Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party also lost bigly. More importantly, Alex Salmond – Sturgeon’s deputy, mentor, and a key SNP member, has lost his seat in Gordon.

This means that we won’t see a second Scottish referendum anytime soon. Already Sturgeon has shared that she would “properly think” about whether to press ahead with Referendum 2.0 after the Tories enjoyed their best performance in Scotland since 1983.

Nick Clegg, THE leader of the Lib Dems in 2010 and former Deputy Prime Minister, also lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam to Jared O’Hara of the Labour party. Yikes!

How did the markets react?

The pound took its hardest hit when exit polls – which have been good predictors of actual results – pointed to a hung parliament.

The currency also dropped by its sharpest since the EU referendum and made new lows while the final tallies were shaping up. However, it also saw retracements at the start of the London session.

FTSE 100, which includes companies that would profit from a weaker pound, opened higher today. Meanwhile, FTSE 250, which has more local companies, are marginally lower on the day.

It’s also interesting to note that utilities companies are among the biggest winners today. One possible reason is that the lack of majority would mean that the Labour Party won’t likely push through with nationalizing them while Theresa May can’t cap their bills either.

What now?

PM May revealed that she has seen the Queen and has formally asked permission to form a government.

Apparently, she’s now teaming up with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a coalition in time for the start of Brexit negotiations AND the opening of the new Parliamentin 10 days.

Thing is, the DUP isn’t a fan of a “hard Brexit.” DUP founder Arlene Foster once shared that “No one wants to see a hard Brexit,” adding that “no one wants to see a hard border.”

This means that, unless May convinces Foster and her gang to come over to the “hard” side, then we’ll likely see a toned down version of May’s initial Brexit plans.

Cheerio

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd.

 

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Global Round Up

Here are some of the key events coming up:

  • More Fed officials will be speaking as the FOMC’s June 13-14 meeting approaches. Robert Kaplan will be in New York on Wednesday.
  • The U.S. jobs report Friday may bolster the case for a rate hike, with a gain of 180,000 positions expected.
  • Brazil’s central-bank decision Wednesday will probably see a cut of 75 to 100 basis points from the current 11.25 percent, according to economists.
  • The EIA is due to release its monthly supply reports Wednesday.

Here are the main movers in markets:

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped less than 0.1 percent, paring its advance for May to 2.6 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent, trimming a monthly gain to 0.8 percent.
  • The Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 percent, after nearly wiping out an earlier gain of 1.1 percent. The manufacturing purchasing managers index remained at 51.2 for a second straight month in May, compared with a median estimate of 51 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat, heading for a fifth straight monthly gain, the longest winning streak since 2013, as improving earnings outweighed concerns about China’s campaign to cut leverage.
  • Japan’s Topix fell 0.3 percent, following two days of gains.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent. The benchmark index slipped 0.1 percent Tuesday, retreating for the first time in eight days. The Nasdaq 100 Index advanced for an eighth day to an all-time high.

Currencies

  • The pound dropped 0.3 percent to $1.2817. The euro was little changed, heading for a monthly gain of 2.7 percent, its best performance in more than a year.
  • The yen weakened 0.1 percent to 110.93 per dollar after rising 0.4 percent Tuesday. The South African rand strengthened 0.4 percent, after tumbling for two days.
  • The onshore yuan climbed 0.4 percent, poised for its highest closing level since November.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed for a third straight day. The gauge is down 1.3 percent for the month.

Commodities

  • Iron-ore futures in Dalian fell 5.4 percent to 429.5 yuan a ton, the lowest since Nov. 7.
  • Gold was little changed at $1,262.69 an ounce, extending a 0.4 percent loss Tuesday.
  • Oil dropped 0.6 percent to $49.35 a barrel after retreating 0.3 percent in the previous session. OPEC and Russia’s deal last week to extend output limits through March was met with a selloff as it didn’t include deeper cuts, a plan for the rest of 2018 or a new ally.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis point to 2.23 percent, after declining four basis points in the previous session.
  • Benchmark yields in the U.K. rose one basis point, after a drop of two basis points Tuesday.
  • Australia 10-year yields fell less than one basis point to 2.39 percent.

Cheerio

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd

Today’s FOREX Trades

EUR/USD Intraday: towards 1.1280.
Pivot: 1.1210

Our preference: long positions above 1.1210 with targets at 1.1265 & 1.1280 in extension.

Alternative scenario: below 1.1210 look for further downside with 1.1170 & 1.1145 as targets.

Comment: the RSI is bullish and calls for further upside.

USD/JPY Intraday: supported by a rising trend line.
Pivot: 111.45

Our preference: long positions above 111.45 with targets at 111.90 & 112.20 in extension.

Alternative scenario: below 111.45 look for further downside with 111.10 & 110.80 as targets.

Comment: the RSI is bullish and calls for further upside.

GBP/USD Intraday: continuation of the rebound.
Pivot: 1.2960

Our preference: long positions above 1.2960 with targets at 1.3005 & 1.3020 in extension.

Alternative scenario: below 1.2960 look for further downside with 1.2925 & 1.2900 as targets.

Comment: the RSI is mixed with a bullish bias.

 

As well as these current currency plays we remain bullish on both gold and silver.

 

Cheerio.

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd.

 

Forex Trading Update

We ended up last week with softer than expected April US retail sales and consumer prices. As a result, the US Dollar, which had had a very good week, gave back almost half of its gains of the week.

By the time you are reading this, our week of trading will have already started. Retail sales q/q for New Zealand was out late last night and beat the forecasted figure by 0.4%. Retails sales rose 1.5% against estimate of 1.1% on Q1. China Industrial Production was out at 3am as well and that was y/y release.

Today should be a typical Monday with no news. Traders coming back to their desks and assessing what happened over the weekend and preparing their week ahead. We should experience thin liquidity thanks to no important Fundamental Events happening throughout the day. We only have Theresa May who is Due to participate in Facebook’s Live Q&A hosted by ITV News, via satellite;

Due to Brexit talks which are going not so well at the moment plus a General Election in the UK on June 8th, this speech should affect the British Pound in the morning as investors will have their eyes and ears plugged on any clues the UK Prime minister may give on her plans for Brexit negotiations and the future of the country.

The British Pound is one of the Major currencies which should be most affected this week with CPI Y/Y on Tuesday, Average Earnings Index3m/y on Wednesday and Retail Sales m/m on Thursday. All being released @ 9:30 GMT on their respective days.

France has now its new president Emannuel Macron who was sworn as President yesterday with the difficult task of transforming electoral success into political strength in a society tormented by unemployment and divided by anger.

There is not much to say in terms of fundamentals as the bigger picture haven’t changed much in the past few weeks and the market is quite indecisive at the moment. It looks like the summer doldrums may be starting to have its effects . For the time being the biggest mover is the USD/JPY and that could easily be a “buy the rumours sell the news” run fuelled by the idea that the FED will hike next month at its next meeting.

Cheerio.

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd.

FOREX Friday

Friday May 12th will see the release of a set of crucial US data for April at 13:30 BST; retail sales, retail sales excluding autos, CPI and core CPI. Please be aware that it will likely affect USD and USD crosses along with commodities.

The dollar index has rebounded over the past four trading sessions after hitting a low 6-month low of 98.40. Gold prices saw a rebound on Thursday, and has now touched a three-day high of $1228.98 on Friday during early European session.

US retail sales (MoM) saw a downtrend over the past three months mainly caused by the decline in auto and petroleum sales. The consensus for the April figure is an optimistic forecast of 0.6%. However, sales in April for the two automobile tycoons, Ford and GM, saw a further falling of 7.1% and 5.8% respectively. The declines will likely weigh on the upcoming data. US retail sales outlook seems to be a bit gloomy before auto sales see a recovery.

Retail sales excluding autos also saw a downtrend over the past three months with the reading for March falling into zero growth, not seen since August 2016.

US CPI (YoY) has seen a healthy upswing since August 2015; staying above the Fed’s 2% target since December 2016. Core CPI has been oscillating steadily in the range between 2.1% – 2.3% since January 2016.

The Bank of England (BoE) announced that; interest rates remain unchanged at 0.25% and the asset purchase programme also remains unchanged at £435 billion which are both in line with market expectations. The BoE sees inflation to be above their 2% target for the next three years due to weak GBP. Consumption will continue to experience a slowdown; however, this will be balanced by rising trade and investment. Wage growth is expected to be quicker in 2018.

The BoE forecasts interest rates are likely to remain at the current level until late 2019. However, monetary policy may need to be tightened more than the markets expect over the next three years. The BoE also predicts the Brexit process to be smooth.

The BoE holds a positive outlook on inflation and wage growth and overly optimistic about the Brexit negotiation process. The EU is unlikely to make the process easy for the UK, to avoid encouraging other member states leaving following Brexit.

GBP/USD fell from 1.2940 after the UK data was released, holding above the significant support line at 1.2900. This support level was breached following the BoE announcement with GBP/USD hitting a 1-week low of 1.2848.

Cheerio

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd.

Current Currencies

EUR/USD Intraday: the upside prevails.
Pivot: 1.0905

Our preference: long positions above 1.0905 with targets at 1.0945 & 1.0960 in extension.

Alternative scenario: below 1.0905 look for further downside with 1.0885 & 1.0870 as targets.

Comment: the RSI lacks downward momentum.

USD/JPY Intraday: bullish bias above 111.75.
Pivot: 111.75

Our preference: long positions above 111.75 with targets at 112.30 & 112.55 in extension.

Alternative scenario: below 111.75 look for further downside with 111.55 & 111.20 as targets.

Comment: technically the RSI is above its neutrality area at 50

 

GBP/USD Intraday: under pressure.
Pivot: 1.2950

Our preference: short positions below 1.2950 with targets at 1.2880 & 1.2860 in extension.

Alternative scenario: above 1.2950 look for further upside with 1.2965 & 1.2995 as targets.

Comment: the RSI is mixed to bearish.

Cheerio

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd.

 

Brexit And The Investor

Brexit will be formally triggered this week under Article 50 , paving the way for the 2 year process which will see the United Kingdom withdraw from the political and economic union of Europe.

Until negotiations are actually being hammered out and we can assess the likelihood of a hard Brexit, it’s hard to say. But there are some pointers to bear in mind.

On the one hand, the bull run continues unabated. The FTSE 100 index is in record territory, at well over 7,400 at time of writing. Clearly investors are hanging on in there in the absence of obvious alternatives or a decisive reason to pull out of the markets.

Undoubtedly, the big fall guy is sterling. The pound has been taking the hits in terms of reactions to Brexit developments and it’s likely to remain the tool markets will use when it comes to expressing a view on how the Brexit negotiations are going and what triggering Article 50 will ultimately mean.

‘Sterling’s slide from $1.49 to barely $1.22 since the EU referendum vote has acted as a shock absorber for the UK economy, potentially helping exports become more competitive,’ says Russ Mould of broker AJBell.

The question is how much uncertainty has already been priced into sterling’s value. The trouble is that it’s very difficult to know how far current currency levels do take account of the enormous Brexit question mark hanging over the country.

Many analysts expect the coming months to see further falls, with a low of $1.15 predicted, for instance, by Kamal Sharma at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. But others, such as Capital Economics, believe it could fall further, perhaps as low as $1.05, as the likelihood of Britain exiting the EU without a deal in place gains traction.

So, as a starting point, which asset classes are most likely to prosper?

Fixed income: Although the traditional response to uncertainty has been to de-risk by buying bonds, it makes little sense in the current environment.

Ten-year gilts are still yielding only 1.25%, even after the sell-off from low near 0.5% last summer. That amounts to an investment loss in real terms if inflation is set to remain above 2% for the medium term, as the BoE predicts.

Equities: Unlike most bonds, stocks have the potential for inflation-beating growth and also higher dividend income payouts. Moreover, although the Brexit uncertainties hardly make for a climate of prosperity, there remain many fundamentally attractive, well-run businesses. Some are now expensive, but others are pretty cheap.

For canny stockpickers, the current politically driven dynamics provide interesting opportunities. Long-term investors may be able to pick up good investments to buy and hold, while traders can exploit short-term market movements on bad news or political tension – of which there’s likely to be plenty more.

So, on the assumption that the main consequence of Article 50 being triggered that can be identified at this stage is that sterling will likely weaken further, what routes are worth exploring?

Cheerio

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd