07/06/2017 - Pound Gains as May Consolidates Lead

GBP

Sterling hit its highest level against the dollar in almost two weeks on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations that the ruling Conservative party would be victorious in Thursday's elections and would probably win a majority of parliamentary seats.

The pound has tended to react positively to signs that Prime Minister Theresa May's party would win the snap election  as investors bet that a strong majority would translate into a better bargaining position in exit talks with the European Union that begin this month.

The polls have painted a wildly varying picture of British public opinion going into Thursday's vote. Some say May is only 1-3 points ahead and will fall short of an overall majority, others that she leads by 10 points or more; enough for a 100 seat landslide. 

However, traditional views of whether Conservatives or Labour are good or bad for the pound have been muddied in this election, with some banks saying a high spending Labour government could be a boon for the economy.  Nevertheless, whatever the makeup of the future government, Britain's withdrawal from the European Union remains the biggest unknown

USD

Americans spending on residential construction projects,has just had its strongest three-month period since 1994. Solid job growth, low borrowing costs and a recovery in home equity since the market crash a decade ago are generating momentum. The vast advance in outlays also has its roots in more than favorable conditions for building across the U.S. After all, the first four months of 2017 were the second-warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

All of this new housing activity is driving job gains in the sector. Residential contractor employment has climbed more than 500,000 over the past six years, according to Labor Department data. Since the end of 2015, home-remodeling industry payrolls have outpaced all private employment.

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