Gilts are on a tear as investors escape U.K. stocks and the pound. But a no-deal Brexit or a Corbyn government would soon change their status.
British investors have been fleeing their domestic stock market in droves all year, and everyone and their dog lined up to sell sterling on Thursday as the tally of resignations from Theresa May’s Brexit-plagued administration mounted. Gilts have become the haven of choice for those unable or unwilling to scrap all their U.K. exposure. But that search for safety could backfire if the political chaos brings down Prime Minister Theresa May.
The real and present danger to her and her draft Brexit agreement increases the risk of Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal. That wouldn’t be good for anybody, including U.K. sovereign bondholders.
Because of all of the political uncertainty, British equities — particularly those lacking the buffer of big exports to cushion the blow — will no doubt continue to suffer.
U.K. stocks have performed worse than their peers
Indeed, domestic investors who’ve bailed out of British stocks this year have dodged a bullet.
Love Don’t Live Here Any More
U.K. investors continue to favor overseas equity markets
While Brexit isn’t done yet, it’s already having direct economic effects, including making British consumers increasingly nervous. Retail sales fell by 0.5 percent last month, figures published on Thursday show, contradicting economists’ expectations for a gain of 0.2 percent. So it’s no surprise that the pound is suffering too against the dollar. It was nursing its biggest one-day drop in more than two years at its nadir on Thursday, leaving it looking more like an emerging-market currency.
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Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
16 Nov: USD 1,215.80, GBP 948.93 & EUR 1,073.07 per ounce
15 Nov: USD 1,210.60, GBP 948.26 & EUR 1,072.71 per ounce
14 Nov: USD 1,201.45, GBP 927.04 & EUR 1,066.05 per ounce
13 Nov: USD 1,197.55, GBP 928.70 & EUR 1,066.18 per ounce
12 Nov: USD 1,207.05, GBP 940.05 & EUR 1,072.34 per ounce
09 Nov: USD 1,219.05, GBP 936.96 & EUR 1,075.81 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
16 Nov: USD 14.29, GBP 11.15 & EUR 12.61 per ounce
15 Nov: USD 14.13, GBP 11.02 & EUR 12.49 per ounce
14 Nov: USD 13.97, GBP 10.80 & EUR 12.39 per ounce
13 Nov: USD 14.02, GBP 10.85 & EUR 12.46 per ounce
12 Nov: USD 14.16, GBP 11.00 & EUR 12.57 per ounce
09 Nov: USD 14.34, GBP 11.01 & EUR 12.63 per ounce
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