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03/07/24 Briefing

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) and European stocks were in positive territory on Wednesday, as Wall Street opened mixed, as traders also focused their attention on politics ahead of Thursday's general election. ahead of the UK general election.

Today has seen a variety of final opinion polls, including an MRP poll from YouGov that will have seat projections for the different constituencies. As it stands, all opinion polls still give the opposition Labour party a decisive lead that’s consistent with them reaching a majority in the House of Commons.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "There are less than 24 hours to go until the polls open for the UK's general election and a frenzy of last-minute campaigning is underway, as candidates jostle to win over floating voters.

"At this stage of the game anything other than a clear Labour majority would be more unsettling. However, for parties like the Greens and Reform, winning seats in parliament would help push more of their policies into the political limelight.

"Maintaining financial stability is set to be the priority for an incoming Labour government, and bond markets are sanguine, with gilt yields significantly lower than there were at the end of May and sentiment driven by the central bank rather than party policies."

Over in France, all eyes are on Sunday’s election. On Tuesday, Marine Le Pen said that the National Rally would still try and form a government even if they failed to achieve an overall majority.

  • London’s benchmark index was 0.6% higher in afternoon trade

  • Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) rose 1.2% and the CAC (^FCHI) in Paris headed 1.4% into the green

  • The pan-European STOXX 600 (^STOXX) was up 0.8%

  • Wall Street was mixed after the bell in New York, set for a shorter day ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Thursday.

  • The pound was up 0.7% against the US dollar (GBPUSD=X) at 1.2772

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