Sterling stays strong

The pound inched higher against a basket of major currencies today, after a solid performance against the euro before the first round of French presidential elections and from an improvement due to the snap election announcement.

Sterling rose against a broadly weaker dollar with bullish polls for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives adding to expectations June elections may give her a stronger mandate for two years of Brexit talks.

May’s Conservatives had 48 percent of the vote in a YouGov poll for The Times on Wednesday night, compared with 24 percent for the opposition Labour Party and hinting at a landslide victory under Britain’s first past the post electoral system.

That the pound has not pushed on more strongly since Tuesday, however, relates to the doubts over the Brexit process and other parts of the election fallout.

The EU’s foreign policy chief on Thursday said Britain will lose more from the European Union from its decision to leave the bloc, adding that talks with London were expected to be difficult.

Attention is now largely focused on the French vote. Even with polls giving both far-right and far-left candidates a chance of making it into next month’s run-off, the pound has gained this week, its strongest performance in 2017 so far.

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