The pound hit a 19-month high against the dollar as The Conservative Party sailed to victory with a 38-seat majority with almost all seats declared. The opposition Labour Party lost seats to the government in their traditionally safe “Red Wall”, the Welsh and northern English former industrial heartlands that voted heavily in favour of leaving the EU. The exit polls were released at 10pm and caused the pound to jump 2.5% to a high of $1.3508.
This majority will allow Boris Johnson to pass his withdrawal agreement and begin the process of leaving the EU by the 31st of January. The size of the majority means that ongoing negotiations are unlikely to be hindered by the demands of more extreme wings of the Conservative party, with many analysts believing Johnson will now choose a more moderate cabinet. This rally will provide markets with some short-term relief but as the new year dawns, attention will move on to economic data and negotiations of the long-term trade arrangements with the EU.
Earlier in the day the pound had been dropping amid the uncertainty surrounding the results but through the night and earlier today the pound has come off its new highs but stayed around the $1.34 mark.
GBPUSD opened at 1.3209 and fell across the day, reaching an early evening low of 1.3078. The exit polls caused the pound to jump to a high of 1.3510 and at midday today hovered slightly lower around the 1.3389 mark
GBPEUR opened at 1.1869 and performed similarly, falling to a low of 1.1762 before jumping to a high of 1.2073. Today it has stayed around the 1.1991 region
The dollar jumped to a two-week high against the Japanese yen on Thursday as reports of a deal having been reached between the US and China increased risk appetite. Investors are awaiting further developments and statements from Washington specifically regarding tariffs that were due to come in on the 15th of December. The dollar index was up 0.3%. The euro was 0.11% lower against the dollar after the European Central Bank kept its monetary policy of the same.
EURUSD opened at 1.1138 and was fairly flat across the day, slipping slightly lower in the afternoon to close at a low of 1.1115