Intraday Market Thoughts

Johnson Wins, GBP Stabilizes

by Ashraf Laidi
Jul 23, 2019 19:13

Members of Britain's Conservatives Party have named Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister with a comfortable win of 92,153 votes over Jeremy Hunt's 46,656 votes. Sterling resumed its pre-announcement gains following remarks from EU Brexit negotiator Barnier stating: "We are ready also to rework the agreed Declaration on a new partnership in line with EUCOguidelines". Cable pushed up half a pence off its session lows to 1.2480 before dropping back near 1.2440s amid broadening USD strength. The GBP implied volatility chart may indicate a receding fear factor in sterling, which explains the lack of any sharp declines in the currency. In other news, the IMF downgraded its forecast for 2019 and 2020 global growth by 0.1% to 3.2% and 3.5% respectively. Q1 global trade volumes were revised down to their lowest in 7 years.

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Johnson Wins, GBP Stabilizes - Cable Jul 23 2019 (Chart 1)

Since Johnson is widely expected to reiterate his vow for Brexit by end of October, it should be asked to what extent will his readiness for a no-deal impact the union of the Party and endanger the coalition in power. The more cracks with the coaltion, the more we're likely to hear about the possibility of new elections, at the expense of GBP. 

On the EU side, Barnier's willingness to consider amending the Brexit Declaration will be in function of Boris Johnson's demands and compromises. The cohesiveness of the Conservatives will also be a key factor for the Europeans. 

Staunch anti-no deal exit such as Cabinet members such as Chancellor Philip Hammond, are expected to quit on Wednesday before Johnson has a chance to announce his government. Hammond will lead a group of about 30 Tory MPs aimed at blocking a no-deal exit. How deep will the fissures in the party be will be the question for the rest of summer and atumn.

Meanwhile, we have 9 days until the Bank of England releases its quarterly inflation report, with the latest revisions for growth, inflation and interest rates. BoE governor Carney has already signalled that growth will be revised lower.

FX traders cannot avoid the strengthening US dollar, but they also must be ware of the periodical bouts of FX verbal intervention (tacit and otherwise) from Trump and/or announcements regarding the US-China talks.


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