Market In-Review: Blame It On The U.K. Elections

  • GBP loses 1.1% vs. USD, 0.4% vs. EUR on U.K. hung parliament woes
  • FTSE 100 secures modest 0.3% weekly loss, in spite of elections results
  • S&P 500 loses 0.3% for the week, but scores new all-time intraday high
  • VIX level declines quickly after reaching 12.1 level on Friday
  • Safe haven assets hold steady in spite of risk factors

 The USD regained power as of late, adding 0.7% weekly vs. the EUR and 1.1% vs. the GBP. The latest leg for the Greenback was achieved on Friday, after the U.K. elections failed to provide incumbent Prime Minister May a majority in parliament. After dropping as much as 2.5% during early morning trading, GBP/USD saw some recovery during the day, amid hopes that May will be able to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party.
 
The elections did have some positive impact in the U.K, though. A weaker GBP is obviously good for the country’s exporters, which led to an excess of a 1% increase of the FTSE 100 on Friday morning. Some decline were recorded at the index later on the day, but in spite of sharp declines during the days of the elections, the index still managed to end the week at a fairly modest 0.3% loss.
 
Markets still very optimistic
 
Looking at global markets’ performance could also explain why the response in the U.K. has been so contained. While the S&P500 was down 0.3% for the week, Friday’s volatile session aided the index set a new all-time intraday high of 2,446.2 points. A more substantial, 3.9% Friday selloff was recorded at the Nasdaq.
 
The VIX index, measuring market participants’ expectations for volatility in the market showed some gains on Friday on the result of the elections. Somewhat surprisingly, after touching a level of 12.1 during the day, the index soon gravitated back, ending the day at 10.7, which is a very low level in historical perspective.
 
In spite of the Nasdaq sell-off, while some safe haven assets did see some interest during the day, the yield of the U.S. 10 year bond, which moves inversely to its price, climbed a to a level of 2.20% ahead of Friday’s close. Gold moved counter to the Dollar, hitting an abyss of USD 1,266.76 per oz., down from around 1,280 at the start of Monday’s session.

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