Market Commentary: Friday 5th July

The UK has woken up to a staggering Labour victory in the General Election, as Keir Starmer’s party won more than 350 seats before the Conservatives reached 80. While Labour has won a huge landslide, it's a fragile majority that poses challenges to the incoming Prime Minister. Turnout is estimated by the BBC at 60%, the lowest level since 1885, and Labour has been the beneficiary of Britain's first-past-the-post system. Nevertheless, the Tory losses were startling, with many high-profile Tory cabinet ministers losing their seats, including Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Grant Shapps, Gillian Keegan and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Nigel Farage, Richard Tice and Lee Anderson won seats for Reform UK. Starmer gave a victory speech in the Tate Modern in London saying “By all means enjoy this moment. No one can say you haven’t waited patiently,” followed by: “But use it to show to the rest of the country, as we must, that this party has changed, that we will govern for every single person.” UK markets are yet to react to the results.

In markets, South Korean equities led gains in Asia, after strong earnings releases from two of the nation’s largest electronics manufacturers on Friday morning. The Kospi index gained 0.9% in early trading, with Samsung Electronics rising 1.5% after the company forecast a 15-fold increase in profits due to demand for artificial intelligence driving up memory chip sales. LG Electronics also reported strong earnings.

Bitcoin dropped over 7% this morning, to $54,445 per coin after hitting a record high of $73,794 in March. The fall comes as gold remains close to record highs reached in May. In currency markets, the Australian dollar gained 0.1% against the US dollar to A$0.67. It’s believed the country will have to hold or even raise interest rates as a result of stubborn inflation even as the US begins to cut.

US markets are expected to be quiet again today following the public holiday yesterday, however, we have got NFPs at 1:30pm London time, 190k is consensus, and Canadian unemployment data is due at the same time. European retail sales are due this morning with President Lagarde's speech in the evening.

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