Posted tagged ‘Gordon Brown’

Clegg Puts Spanner in Election Race

April 16, 2010

The pound fell broadly early this morning on the foreign exchange market.  Why?

Last night the three main political parties took part in a television debate, with Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg winning the majority of audiences.  While Gordon Brown (Labour) and David Cameron (Conservatives) may have been expecting an easier ride, Clegg used his moment in the spotlight to appeal to viewers and the studio audience with what he hoped was a fresh approach.

But while the Lib Dems might be enjoying their newfound popularity stakes, it does throw a spanner in the works for the outcome of the general election.  With Clegg’s new level of support, the other parties will once again be left in a very similar bracket – meaning a hung parliament is back on the cards.

Once again, investors are wary of the pound.  Once again, the election race takes a new and interesting twist.

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Seven-Week High for Pound

April 15, 2010

The pound is so far having a good old week.  Having reached a high against the US dollar on Wednesday, it reached a 7-week high today after a poll showed that the opposition Conservative party have a clearer lead against the Labour party.

In the past weeks and months, a hung parliament has looked ever more likely with neither party showing signs of being a clear majority winner.  The Tories have always managed to stay slightly ahead but the level shrunk until the future of Britain’s political leader was less and less clear.  International investors have been avoiding the pound with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the UK and it is likely that the overall shakiness will remain until the general election takes place in early May.

Britain has actually been enjoying a rather positive week in general, with a lashing of good data announced in the trade deficit and retail sectors.  Does this mean that the economy is picking up quicker than expected?  Can Britons plan their future with a Conservative government and will the budget deficit be cleaned up under their leadership?

Tonight on British television will be a live debate between party leaders – how each performs could have a significant effect on consumer, economic and fiscal sentiment.

Pound Stable…for Now

March 11, 2010

The pound managed to stay flat against the US dollar and the euro in this morning’s trades, as currency exchange traders lost momentum on sterling sell-off.

However, more weakness is forecast for the pound…here are some the reasons why:

Gordon Brown VS David Cameron – no clear winner

The upcoming general election looks set to result in a ‘hung parliament’ – a situation which means no party is a clear winner over the other.

Weak UK Economy

It seems as though fresh data is announced every week, and lately much of it isn’t exactly ideal.  The most recent numbers to cause investors to avoid the pound were those showing worse-than-expected manufacturing output.

Poor Public Finances

Actually, the deficit in the UK isn’t that far off from that of Greece.  Gordon Brown has now called for civil servant pay freezes – but is it enough to stem the problem?

Pound remains Low

February 9, 2010

The UK high street had to deal with poor sales figures in January – overall retail was down to its worst level in 15 years in what some analysts branded an “awful” start to the year.

But while physical shops were suffering low shopping numbers (compared with the year before), online shoppers have been out in force – sales were better than ever.  Is it just the cold weather that is stopping us from hitting the shops?

Meanwhile the pound is still having a hard time, dealing with the nervous sentiment surrounding it – and its country.  Britain still has the heavy debt problem which is being compared to that of Greece.  Politically there is much uncertainty, as the erstwhile surefire-winner Mr Cameron (of the Tory party) sees lower support – could Mr Brown win the election?  Currency exchange traders are staying short on the pound, although it did edge up in this morning’s early trade (London session).

Pound Retreats

February 1, 2010

A new week, a new….tumble for the pound.  This morning in the London session it fell against the US dollar and the euro.  Traders are anxious in advance of the Bank of England’s decision on whether to extend the asset-buying programme or not (for which 200 billion pounds have already been set aside).

If the Bank chooses to continue the scheme, traders have warned that there will be some sharp pound-selling to follow.  Fingers crossed then…

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown and David Cameron will be stepping up their campaigns after two seperate polls found that there would be no clear majority in a general election.  So far, many had thought that Brown’s days were numbered and that he was unlikely to make a comeback – but the division between him and Cameron on how to clean up the country’s debt problems has left many spectators divided.  Who has the better plan, and who can lead the country back to health?

The currency exchange market will want to see a clearer picture from one of the two, in order for the pound to gain any strength off the back of them.

Is the Recession Over?

June 11, 2009

The recession is over in the UK.  Well, that’s the opinion of one independent analysis body and many might react with surprise at the fact that a recession which was due to last at least until the end of 2009 is suddenly over.

The foreign exchange market has shown that the US dollar as continuing to weaken against high-yield currencies, which certainly backs the view that the worst is over in the USA.  But in the UK, things had been predicted to be really bad, possibly worse than many other developed economies.  So what is being said?

The analysis group is the National Institution of  Economic and Social Research, or NIESR.  So far, they have gained respect in the financial world for the accuracy of their predictions.

They say that because there has been a tiny return to growth in April and May it spells the end of recession.  Many have reacted by saying that in no way is it over and that worse may be yet to come.  That takes us back to the argument as to the shape of the recession – V or W shaped?  The first would mean that if we have reached rock bottom (which is what is being said by NIESR) then the worst is indeed over and the only way is up.  If the latter is true, then we may be going up but could plunge right down again before things get better.

We’ll see!

Lloyds Chairman to Step Down

May 18, 2009

It does bear slight impressions of a huge car crash where you look in the opposite direction..

Sir Victor Blank has announced he will step down as Lloyds chairman next year.  His decision to take retirement has apparently nothing at all to do with the fact that he chose to take over HBOS, a move which has costs billions in its disaster- levels.  The merger has failed so spectacularly but still could iron out to improve say some.  What really begs questions is the fact that the takeover was made in September 2008 – just after the Lehman Brothers nearly collapsed, an event which would have brought down the global banking sector.

Seems like the perfect time to create a “superbank” backed by Gordon Brown?  Or perhaps a little on the risky side?

Blank has been praised by board members who have called him a “first class chairman”.  So was he just unfortunate for having to preside over such a difficult period in the economy, or is he directly to blame for the vast losses?

His announcement has caused a rise in Lloyds shares on the markets.  CFDs traders might enjoy the return of investors in the UK market – or is it too early to say this?