FTSE higher, pound stronger on day of election

It is crunch time for Britons today and the markets seem to be taking it in their stride.

It is crunch time for Britons today and the markets seem to be taking it in their stride. The FTSE gained  0.57% and the pound is a touch stronger as the country goes to the polling station. The first indicative election results will be released when the polls close around 10 pm based on a duplicate vote that a sample of voters will be asked to cast once they leave the polling stations. However, the final call will only be made shortly before the markets open Friday. 

JD Sports shares are up this morning in a speculative swing following a massive selloff earlier this week. Shares in advertising firm WPP are also higher after the firm decided to buy back £300 million of its shares.  The FTSE’s rally, however, is being dampened by declines in AB Foods and Hikma Pharmaceuticals.  

Lagarde and the euro 

Christine Lagarde will run her first European Central Bank meeting since she took over from Mario Draghi and although she is not expected to opt for any rate changes her press conference at 14.30 will be closely watched for indications that she may change tack from her predecessor. 

The euro is losing some ground in early trade and is coming in weaker against both the dollar and the pound, with the latter firming up on hopes of a clear election win and consequently of a clear course on Brexit.

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