UK Vote the Biggest in Decades

Thursday promises to be a massive day for financial markets with major risk events taking place in the UK, eurozone and US that could create substantial volatility throughout the day.

UK Heads to the Polls For the Third Consecutive Year

The UK will head to the polls in what will be the most important vote in decades to decide who will lead the country into the Brexit negotiations and what direction it will take in the years to come. It’s been a long time since there’s been such a substantial difference between the choices on offer, which makes the result today all the more important.

Source – FT Poll of Polls

From a markets perspective, this election is huge and could produce some substantial moves, particularly in sterling, the FTSE and UK debt.

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As we’ve learned from similar events previously – Brexit, US election – not only is the outcome not always obvious but the market reaction can also catch people off guard and that’s what’s had traders acting with such caution all week.

Crude Collapses as Silver and Gold Fold

The most undesirable outcome is surely a hung parliament that produces both domestic political uncertainty and, more importantly, uncertainty and delays in Brexit negotiations. With the currently deadline being March 2019, any delay will be detrimental to the UK in negotiations and could therefore be devastating for sterling. While the knee jerk reaction to this may also be bad for the FTSE, as we saw after the EU referendum, we could see this bounce back quite quickly with the weaker currency benefiting its mostly outward facing companies.

Will ECB Lay Foundations For Tapering, Lower Inflation Forecasts, or Both?

Another major risk event today is the ECB meeting, which after reports yesterday of leaked draft ECB staff projections could be very interesting indeed. The leaked draft indicated that the central bank is revising higher its GDP forecasts but lowering its inflation forecasts through 2019. The euro fell quite heavily after the leak on the belief that such a change could alter the pace or timing of future tapering. It’s currently assumed that further reductions in asset purchases will be planned again at the end of the year, with possibly today’s and September’s meeting being used to lay the groundwork.

NO rest for the weary

Former FBI Director Comey testifies on President Trump

Finally today, former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding a number of events involving President Donald Trump including the links between his campaign and Russia, as well as allegations that he requested at the time that an investigation into his National Security Advisor – Michael Flynn – be dropped. Traders will be following the public part of the hearing with great interest and should there be any “bombshells”, it could ruffle the markets.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.