Merkel says European Union is 'ready to start Brexit negotiations'


Overall the currency is standing two per cent lower, at about $1.27, with markets anxious about continued political uncertainty.

"This is messy for the United Kingdom economy and its Brexit negotiations and hence is a negative for the pound and share market", said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP. Though Labour is not expected to form the next government, even through an alliance with smaller parties, the vote suggests the British warmed to the party's vision of keeping close ties with the lucrative European Union market.

Japan's Nikkei added 0.5 percent and MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were all but flat.

When calling for a snap election in April, PM May was hoping to solidify her parliamentary support, which would supposedly help her negotiate a Brexit deal with the European Union in a quicker and more efficient manner.

Merkel says European Union is 'ready to start Brexit negotiations'

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended the session 0.3 percent higher, having moved in and out positive territory throughout the day, while the UK's internationally-facing blue chip FTSE 100 index outperformed with a gain of 1 percent. That's down from around $1.2960 before the exit poll was released Thursday night. The Conservative Party will have to manoeuvre between the various interests at home, but there is an upside for the UK's main Brexit negotiator, PM May - during the negotiations, she will now have an opportunity to refer to the Parliament's incoherency each time the negotiations falter.

A party needs 326 seats to hold a majority in the House of Commons.

Betting agencies were already taking wagers on whether May would still have her job by the end of the day.

But he cautioned bears against chasing the pound much lower.

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Only a couple years ago being a powerful enough party to lead the Scottish independence referendum (indyref), the SNP has lost ground to Tories, just like the UKIP, but, unlike the latter, still keeping 5.4 percent of the vote.

The dollar was up 0.4 percent at 110.385 yen and against a basket of major currencies was up half a percent at 97.392. But yields have since bounced from the lows as risk aversion ebbed. The euro was little moved against the USA dollar at $1.1209. "If this situation stays the same into the colder months, we could see more of an impact". They had already largely shrugged off Thursday's testimony by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, which had been seen as the week's other big event.

Comey accused Trump of firing him to try to undermine the investigation into possible collusion by his campaign team with Russia's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 election.

"I don't think we should talk about some prolongation of the deadline", he said in Prague.

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"So it's not particularly impactful for thinking about".

Oil prices remained subdued, with Brent having settled at its lowest since November 29, the eve of an OPEC production cut deal. Both benchmarks are down roughly 4 percent in what will be a third consecutive weekly fall.

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