A Stunned Wall Street Reacts To UK's Hung Parliament

Tyler Durden's picture

It was supposed be a UK general election that solidified Conservative dominance, and boosted Brexit leverage. It ended up being the opposite, after British voters delivered a stinging rebuke to Prime Minister Theresa May and her ruling Conservative party, depriving her of a majority, resulting in a "hung parliament" and thrusting the country back into a new period of uncertainty as it prepares to depart from the European Union.

A quick recap of what happened overnight:

  • No party managed to get a majority in Thursday's election, resulting in a hung Parliament.
  • Theresa May remains prime minister. She could push forward with a minority government, or potentially look to another party such as Northern Ireland's DUP to give her enough support in the lower house, which is what SkyNews is reporting will happen.
  • EU officials have said Brexit talks should only begin once a government is in place.
  • The pound fell sharply on the exit polls, and remained low overnight, although it has rebounded from the lows..
  • Stocks in the biggest U.K. companies jumped when the market opened, on the back of the weaker pound, but have given up some gains.
  • May is said to seek to form government, and she won't resign. Sky says she will govern with the support of the Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, making her a "lame duck."

On the basis of the declared results available early in the session, the Conservative Party won 316 seats (or just about) in the 650 seat Parliament (losing 15 seats), compared with 265 seats for Labour (a gain of 33 seats). These numbers are fluid and continue to change, mostly in Labour's benefit. 

Conservative Party loses its Parliamentary majority

A return to a two-party system by vote share

May first called the election in April, betting she could substantially increase her party's majority and strengthen her hand as she negotiated an EU exit. As polls closed, that gambit backfired, and as tallying went on, her party lost rather than gained seats.  By early morning, it was clear there would be a so-called hung Parliament, in which no party has command. The surprising blow immediately put Mrs. May's leadership of her party and of the government in question.

The formation of the next government is currently unclear, although a minority Conservative administration appears the most likely outcome. The weaker government implied by such an outcome implies a higher risk premium on UK assets and a lower level of Sterling. Both market implications have already been evident overnight.

According to recent headlines, May has reached an understanding with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to form a coalition U.K. Government. After 648 of 650 seats have been counted, May’s Conservatives have won 317 seats and DUP has 10; 326 seats needed for majority.

* * *

And while we await confirmation, here is a handful of sellside strategist opinions on what are the next ahead for the UK:

Nomura International (Jordan Rochester, FX strategist)

  • It’s likely the Conservatives have fallen short of a majority or are just on the edge, he writes
  • GBP/USD falls but “has not meaningfully continued lower through 1.27 on its initial break through the level”
  • Sterling hasn’t fallen to the 1.24 level as surveys had predicted in the event of a hung parliament as it “could simply be a lack of market liquidity but there is also the questions around what this means for Brexit”
  • Markets wondering if this delays things or changes the direction, the “latter point involving soft Brexit is that factor that probably has some bids in GBP here”

Citigroup (strategists including Josh O’Byrne)

  • It is possible that there will be a delayed reaction with investors waiting on confirmation that the exit polls are correct
  • Citigroup sees a “high probability" that Theresa May resigns, triggering a leadership contest
  • Some investors may be reluctant to chase the initial response
  • “We see this election risk as largely idiosyncratic for GBP, which looks to have further downside if the exit polls are confirmed”
  • Look to “buy any further dip in risk currencies, which should take stronger direction from more broadly supportive macro conditions”

Mizuho International (Peter Chatwell, head of rates strategy)

  • “This is an uncertainty discount, rather than pricing the fundamentals of a potential leftist shift in the U.K. government, with a softer Brexit stance”
  • If the poll does turn out to be accurate, he expects GBP/USD to turn stronger on the session
  • If this exit poll solidifies into reality then this market reaction “should be ‘Trumpian’, i.e. on realization of a softer Brexit stance and more fiscally easy outlook, we should be factoring in greater growth and inflation and gilt supply” generating a steeper gilt curve and stronger GBP

Standard Chartered (analysts Sarah Hewin and Nick Verdi)

  • A decline in GBP/USD toward 1.24 is the central case over the next 12 hours on a hung parliament where the Conservatives emerge as the biggest party
  • While a more conciliatory approach in negotiations with EU might be expected, until the results are more clearly known, political uncertainty will drive further GBP/USD downside

CIBC (Jeremy Stretch, head of G-10 FX strategy)

  • “Even if the Conservatives cling onto Downing Street, their room for manoeuvre, including promoting a hard Brexit, premised on the primacy of immigration over all other considerations, needs to be kept in context”
  • “Whatever happens tonight one thing that does not change is that face-to-face EU Brexit talks are due to start on June 19. Who will be leading the U.K. delegation and importantly what view will they be pursuing?”
  • “The two-year countdown keeps ticking despite what occurs in the U.K.”

City Index (Kathleen Brooks, EMEA research director)

  • While the hung parliament result was a shock, the market reaction has also “been somewhat puzzling”
  • After the initial decline, “as the results have rolled in and confirmed the exit poll result, the pound has remained relatively stable, suggesting that the prospect of a hung parliament and a second vote is not triggering market panic”
  • Perhaps the market is looking at this result as a vote for a softer Brexit, which could boost the pound in the long run. However, this is fairly presumptuous of the FX market at this early stage

Oanda (Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda)

  • Sterling has fallen off a cliff after the initial exit poll; a hung parliament is worst outcome from a markets perspective as it creates another layer of uncertainty ahead of Brexit negotiations and chips away at what is already a short timeline to secure a deal for Britain

CMC Markets (Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets)

  • Plunge in the pound, prospect that Tories could struggle to form majority government is likely to have significant consequences for start of Brexit talks and raise serious questions as to how long May can survive as party leader, let alone Prime Minister

IG (Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst)

  • It has been a fascinating night, more so for the political ramifications than for the reaction on markets. After the initial shock of the exit poll, we have seen both the FTSE 100 and sterling stabilise
  • Clearly, the fact that the Conservatives will be able to get past the 326 line with the help of Northern Ireland’s DUP is probably allowing markets, at least at this early stage, to keep a sense of perspective. Had the result been closer, investors would have been more nervous, but it still looks unlikely that Jeremy Corbyn will get anywhere near No. 10

Market Securities, (Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist)

  • “A hung parliament is not good for markets, but the worst possible outcome, which would have been a Corbyn victory, has been avoided. The odds of a U-turn on Brexit are clearly rising. A strong Labour victory would have had a big impact on a number of sectors such as utilities, but with this results, it’s a bit ‘business as usual’ for the equity market, and we should see the FTSE 100 further outperforming the FTSE 250”

Credit Suisse (Pierre Bose, head of European strategy)

  • “For FTSE 100, in the first instance a hung parliament will weigh on risk sentiment but in the medium-term slightly weakened sterling is positive for large cap companies. Spillover effect to global markets has been limited, no reason why that has to change”

ETF Securities (James Butterfill, head of research and investment strategy)

  • “Typically a weak pound is positive for the index due to their near 70% foreign revenue exposure. FTSE 250 is much more vulnerable to a sell off as it is much more domestically focussed, although exporters could rally on weak GBP. Market worries will primarily be expressed in currencies, creating even more volatility”

* * *

And here is Bloomberg's Richard Cudmore putting it all together

Damage to Sterling Fundamentals Only Marginal: Macro View


The long-term macro fundamentals for sterling were already very negative before this election. The critical issue from the vote is how it might shift the Brexit situation. And ultimately, that dynamic probably hasn’t changed too much.  We’re in a sweet spot of uncertainty for the U.K. How long will Theresa May survive as the Conservative Party leader? What does this result mean for Brexit negotiations?  All the "noise" will weigh on sterling in the short-term but have the fundamentals really shifted that much? No.


Many investors will claim that, far from a strengthened mandate, whatever government represents the U.K. will now have reduced credibility when negotiating Brexit terms. That sounds bad, but it’s important to remember that the U.K. didn’t have much credibility in the negotiations to start with. The EU always held the upper hand. This doesn’t have to mean a hard Brexit, like some believe, as early rhetoric from both sides of the divorce deal shouldn’t be over-weighted in the context of a two-year (minimum) process. Some investors may even try to suggest the election result makes a soft Brexit more likely.


I would argue that none of the Brexit probabilities have materially shifted. The EU doesn’t want to let the U.K. be a clear winner from leaving the union, but it’s also not in its interests for the U.K. economy to suffer inordinately as it would have negative contagion on interlinked European countries. Some sort of compromise on terms largely dictated by the EU was always likely, with a viable risk of no deal at all. The U.K. was never going to be allowed to cherry-pick terms and win a visibly large victory from the Brexit deal. And that will be the same next week in the wake of this election.


Sterling has an extremely negative real yield, backed by a structural current-account deficit and an uncertain trade status with its closest trade partners. The currency’s future remains bleak due to those factors, which are unaltered by the election. The larger downtrend in the pound started on May 10 and will persist. In the short-term, gilts may not like the election outcome, and sterling can suffer more amid the political noise, but those aren’t sustainable drivers of weakness. They are poor risk-reward reasons for short positions as we can expect two-way volatility in the days ahead.

Be negative on the pound, just not specifically because of the election

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mily's picture

So stunned in fact that they've been buying the dip all night

Max Damage's picture

It happened because she is a useless cow

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Censor the Internet and take away out free speech and rights.........screw you Theresa May!

Croesus's picture

Petition to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Seth Rich murder: @ 55k/100k sig's needed:


Please copy/repost elsewhere!

open calender's picture

you can add an extra 1200/USD a week to your account working at home for 3 hours a day... go here to this site... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

Relentless's picture

Newsflash: Confused populace elects incompetent muppets to lead them, can't agree on colour of muppets they actually want. Wall Street stunned.

In other news: the sun rose today.


Of course people seem to forget that muppets are controlled by people that you can't see who have their hands rammed up each muppet's arse


DieselChadron's picture

headline edit:

a "stunned" wall street..

cossack55's picture

I would like to see the US CONgress hang

VinceFostersGhost's picture



I think those guys might be dead already...


Seriously.....what have they done lately?

gregga777's picture

The denizens of the US CONgress have continued getting rich receiving bribes from their CONporate masters and trading stocks using inside information. 

Captain Chlamydia's picture

What people in Britain are gradually coming to grips with is that Islam teaches that this life on earth is merely a stepping-stone to Paradise and that Muslims must stop at nothing to attain it. 


must read! 



mily's picture

I think i'll be leaving uk soon... There was a terrorist drill in my son's catholic school yesterday after another school received threats from a muzzie dipshit that claimed he would kill all children

Tugg McFancy's picture

Get out of the cities, they're only for sjw's and terrorists anyway.

nmewn's picture

I'm sure May proposing to turn Britain into a police state because of a few camel jockeys had nothing to do with it ;-)

VK's picture

And said camel jockeys were fully known to intelligence agencies. And were used as assets in Libya and Syria apparently. Terrorism is fully backed by May and her ilk.

nmewn's picture

Well, thats the problem isn't it? All these darned rights, regulations & laws preventing our benevolent overlords from operating their fully functional Death Star at peak capacity in destroying them from space! ;-)

williambanzai7's picture

Obviously this is all the internet and Putin's fault.

NDXTrader's picture

"Relief" rally coming when there was no worry

Fitch Viscous's picture

The Naz has definitely been of fire. It has ,like quadrupled in the time ZH has been trying to be bearish so that should tell us something. 

Fitch Viscous's picture

A stunned wall street?  So that is what we are going with this morning to explain why the futures are up and the US markets will rocket to the moon.


Fitch Viscous's picture

So many reasons to be negative the markets if one were to read the  hedge. But the markets stock markets keep rallying. Only one analyst I know of has been catching and riding the waves of this market correctly, SHEPWAVE.  I mean all of this clickbait stuff is about enough. 

mily's picture

Dude, it's boring, go and run your brokerage fee scam somewhere else

Babs.St.Louis's picture

What is worse, the braggers from the wave guys or the click bait of ZH  I can't figure out which.

Van G's picture

Look at it from the point of view which is better? It seems the wave followers are the only ones making money. At least on ZH.

Babs.St.Louis's picture

I would stay with the analysts who are calling the markets at SW. ZH is useful for information but they have been bearish and will always be bearish. There is a distinction between an actual analyst and a news site. 

Infinite QE's picture

All very confusing. How does this help Israel?

Irvingm's picture

I assume that is sarcasm.

Still Losing Money's picture

brexit will drag on to the point where it won't happen.j ust like the elites/EU/globalists want. May, a   remainer, did her job  well

reload's picture

This is entirely possible. Her capaign was shit.

Faced with. Choice of arrogant globalist fascist or card carrying marxist. The electorate returned a 'none of the above' verdict!

BritBob's picture

No doubt that the Tories created this mess and scored some unbelievable own goals during the election campaign. But what of Corbyn, what are his democratic principles? He's been a regular at the Argentinian embassy where he has given support to their Falklands claim. Claim while his own Labour Party supports the Islanders democratic rights. Sad state of affairs.

Falklands: 1833 Usurpation & UN Resolutions:



Last of the Middle Class's picture

The "internet did it " porn she was espousing surely didn't help. Her liberal globalist agenda popped out of her stupid mouth before she could stop it. What do you call a British RINO? Fucking stupid! 

andypaps28's picture

In a democracy "we" get the government we deserve. The UK government, or lack of just reflects where they are now as a nation; dazed and confused!


buzzsaw99's picture

all the brits on here were so fugging smug a few weeks ago. oh buzzsaw, they said, you don't understand uk politics they said, you don't understand what may is doing they said, it's a lock they said, she's totally behind brexit they said, just consolidating power for the big switch ahead they said. you fugging losers. can't you see what she's doing?

Totally_Disillusioned's picture

Even at a hung Parliment it shows the world is waking up - all those false flags didn't work as effectively as before!  Otherwise May should have won hands down.

scoutshonor's picture

OMG--This could perhaps not change a thing.  Dodged a bullet there as the alternative could possibly not change anything either.


Makes me all warm and snuggly to know this bullshit could last forever.  I think I will mark the occasion with about 750 MLs of 9 year old 100 proof Knob Creek.

buzzsaw99's picture

+1 for the knob creek.  there is no problem that it can't solve.

Knob Creek's picture

Thanks for the vote of confidence 

shimmy's picture

More evidence that women probably shoudn't be heads of countries....or corporatons or anything, really. 

buzzsaw99's picture

the limp dick viagra boyz ain't no better imo. may is being purposely ineffective for the sake of the bankers and billionaires.

Sky flyer's picture

Trump just tweeted Comey is a leaker. I love this shit. Popcorn ready, beer cold.

RadioactiveRant's picture

A few things:

1. The Tories changed the House of Commons (lower chambers) Standing Orders to prevent Scottish (another other provincial MPs) stiffling legislation only effecting England ("English Votes for English Laws"). This would need to be changed to allow the DUP to support much of the Tory agenda leading to cries of hypocricy, if it was even allowed to happen.

2. HMG will now be preoccupied with managing its confidence and supply agreement with the DUP adding to the distractions in EU negotiations which may now start later than envisaged.

3. Its often said that the Conservatives are an absolute monarchy, ruled by regicide. The infighting within the party will now begin and Theresa May will be forced out in the next few weeks - it won't be her decision. Again this will disrupt the EU negotations as the new leader might have a different soft/hard Brexit view.

4. This is going to smash the illusion that the UK is a stable country to invest in. The pound has a long way to fall and banking authorities are investigating unusual cash withdrawals so we *might* be on the cusp of a bank run.


Paul Morphy's picture

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland want the UK to remain united and they favour Brexit. DUP will go in to coalition with the Conservatives to form a new government.


Steady as she goes.