Home Economy News Morning Bid: Starmer’s steady start

Morning Bid: Starmer’s steady start


A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook

Markets are greeting Britain’s first Labour prime minister since Gordon Brown with a steady hand, which after rollercoaster years will be a window of opportunity for an economic reset.

Indeed the election landslide, set to deliver Labour under Keir Starmer a huge majority, was so expected that traders had welcomed it already as drawing a line under a tumultuous period.

Sterling is the only G10 currency to have gained on the dollar over the year so far. On a trade-weighted basis, it is back where it was in 2016, six prime ministers ago, at the time of the Brexit vote.

The premium investors demand for holding gilts rather than German 10-year bonds has remained stable around 160 basis points – a far cry from the 230 bps hit during the mini-budget crisis of 2022.

Futures on the FTSE 100 were up 0.2% in Asia, as results trickled in and the market has record highs this year, buoyed by a slow-but-steady economy and decelerating inflation.

Labour’s exact plans for growing the economy and for the exchequer are not known. But for now, at least, policymakers may proceed against a backdrop of market calm.

The euro was making itself comfortable, too, in anticipation of France’s far right National Rally falling short of an absolute majority at Sunday’s parliamentary runoff – though the week’s 1% gain may be vulnerable to surprises.

Later in the session, which is thinned as many traders make a long weekend of Thursday’s Independence Day holiday, U.S. jobs data is expected to show a slight cooling in the labour market. President Joe Biden also appears on ABC News for an interview.

Asian shares rose, sending stock indexes in Japan and Taiwan to record highs and South Korea’s benchmark to a multi-year peak. Singapore’s often somnolent equity market stepped back after a rally in heavyweight bank stocks had it shooting higher.

Key developments that could influence markets on Friday:

– U.S. non-farm payrolls data

– Joe Biden interview airs

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