Politics can be seen to have what is called the butterfly effect. The election of Donald Trump, the results of the elections in France, the Brexit vote last June, and now the general election results of this month, among others, all play a part in how the currency is valued globally. In the aftermath of this most recent UK election, the pound sterling has slipped again. It was already low, have slumped and never recovered last year after the Brexit vote.
After exit polls predicted that the Conservative party would suffer a major blow in Thursday’s vote, the UK currency fell around 2 per cent. Investors have been spooked by uncertainty after this election ended in a hung parliament. This comes just days before the negotiations of Brexit begin. It slid a further 0.7% and failed to recover after the final results of the election were confirmed.
The Tory party had failed to secure a majority and the results on the markets were not good. The pound has lost more than 14 per cent against the dollar since last June’s Brexit vote. Some speculation surrounding a strengthening of the pound if the election results lead to a softer Brexit but there are many who remain skeptical about this. UniCredit’s chief UK economist, Daniel Varnazza, wrote in a note to clients: ““A ‘hard’ Brexit is almost a given,” “With Theresa May weak, the hard-line Euro-sceptics in the Conservative party, who are more organised than the Remainers, will be able to take the Prime Minister hostage in their pursuit of a hard Brexit. There isn’t any realistic prospect of this chaos leading to a rethink of the Brexit decision for the country.”
The current political uncertainty is having a dramatic impact on the pound and business leaders should take heed and come together to figure out ways to ensure the pound can be made more stable. There are many questions surrounding Brexit now, and the talks are going to have an even more unsettling effect on the markets.
Volatility of the pound will continue while the government figures out who will lead the country. The Brexit talks and negotiations will have the same effect. Even though the economists factored in what they presumed to be the volatility of sterling during the Brexit talks, even they are uncertain of what will happen in the near future. This is not good for attracting investors to the UK.
“Theresa May’s electoral gamble has catastrophically failed,” said Tom Stevenson, an investment director at Fidelity International. The market reaction to this unwelcome outcome is likely to hit UK shares, bonds and the pound. Markets will likely remain on the back foot while the difficult job of putting together a workable government is undertaken.”
Political uncertainty, election results here in the UK and elsewhere, Brexit, and the effects of the global economy, all are part and parcel of an extremely volatile pound and does not bode well for the UK as business continues to try to attract investments, Investments that seem to be waiting for everything to calm down before repatriating assets into the UK.