Did Boris Johnson just move the currency markets?

Jake Cordell
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Boris Johnson can be blamed for a lot of things, but moving the currency markets?
Boris Johnson can be blamed for a lot of things, but moving the currency markets? (Source: Getty)

Traders have managed to keep a cool head today, despite the fallout from the UK's vote to leave the EU continuing to shock the political world, and many clamouring to link the two.

The FTSE 100 was down, then up, then flat in the first half of the day's trading, standing unchanged at 6,357 at lunchtime. The smaller FTSE 250, which has had eyes on it like almost never before, was also holding steady at 16,019.

Domestic stocks, however, were still on the wrong side of the market, with Dixons Carphone, Royal Mail and housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Barratt all shedding more than two per cent.

Sterling was also looking stable, up 0.2 per cent on the day at $1.3453 as markets await a crucial intervention from Bank of England governor Mark Carney later today.

30 June 2016 @ 12:15pmFTSE 100 (UKX)

However, the Brexit narrative holds strong in the markets. As Leave poster boy Boris Johnson announced he will not be standing in the Conservative leadership race, sterling happened to be on a mini-bounce. As the former Mayor of London was discussing his climbdown, the pound climbed 0.6 cents against the dollar having already been on an upwards charge.

"Sterling will take the positive out of this, which is we now have a Conservative Party that will not be splitting at the seams," Daragh Maher from HSBC told Bloomberg News.

Despite the hype, sterling eased back to exactly where it was before he started speaking in the minutes after, suggesting those keeping one eye on currency markets and another on rolling news channels may be reading a little too much into the connection between Johnson and cable.

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