In London the FTSE 100 is broadly unchanged as UK voters go to the polls for the general election.
The FTSE closed below the 7,500 mark yesterday and it hasn’t been able to get above that level today, even though the final poll from ICM is pointing to a Conservative victory. The Tories would be the preferred party by investors as they are more pro-business than Labour, but given the number of political surprises in the past two years, you can see why traders are on tenterhooks.
Eurozone equity markets are higher on the day as traders await the European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate decision and press conference. Yesterday, there was a leak the ECB will lower its inflation forecast, and that is helping stocks today as a weaker CPI outlook would justify their loose monetary policy.
The GBP/USD is edging higher as we have seen some softening of the US dollar overnight. The UK general election and the testimony by the former head of the FBI, James Comey, will keep traders’ minds focused. It is likely we will see the currency pair remain within a tight trading range as two major events are taking place today.
Since the UK general election was called, the Conservatives have been faring better in the polls, but that lead has been in decline and some dealers have been spooked by that. Traders also remember last month’s big sell-off in the US dollar when the Russian-related scandal surrounded President Trump, and that could be triggered again, depending on Mr Comey’s testimony.
In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 13 points higher at 21,186, and we are calling the S&P 500 up 1 point at 2334.
Dell Technologies reveal their quarterly figures today, and in terms of economic announcements, US jobless claims will be revealed at 1.30pm (UK time), and the market is expecting a figure of 241,000, compared with the previous report of 248,000.
Heightened market volatility is likely over the election period, which could result in widened spreads. We recommend that you monitor positions carefully, consider the use of appropriate risk management tools and maintain a sufficient account surplus throughout this period.
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