Suddenly announced UK election

UK data releases are in pretty short supply this week, so everyone returned from the Easter break assuming that sterling movement would be fairly minimal.

As it happened, PM Theresa May unexpectedly put a cat among the pigeons and inspired some of the pound’s best gains since the EU referendum last year.

PM May had previously asserted that there would be no election before 2020 so her sudden turnaround was surprising to say the least.

She stated: ‘Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country. So we need a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.’

At this time it is expected that the election will see PM May gain a larger majority in parliament – an outcome which would improve the government’s ability to follow through with the aims of its Brexit negotiations.

The pound sterling to euros surged from 1.17 to 1.19 today.  There were also surges in the pound against US$ and other currencies.

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