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Pound Rises After SNP Misses Out on Outright Majority in Polls

Pedestrians walk near the Bank of England in London, U.K., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The U.K.'s economic rebound from the pandemic is already fueling speculation that Bank of England policy makers this week will start discussing how and when they can ease their foot off the stimulus pedal. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The pound rose after Prime Minister Boris Johnson emerged stronger from local U.K. elections, while the main party pushing for independence in Scotland failed to win an outright majority.

Sterling gained as much as 0.4% to 1.4044 against the dollar during Asia trading Monday, as investors covered short positions and Japanese banks bought the currency, traders said.
Pound pushes higher on relief over Scottish elections

The U.K. prime minister had gone into the elections on the back foot, but emerged stronger after his party tightened their grip in northern England. While the Scottish National Party wants to press for another referendum on independence, it fell one seat short of an outright majority after the election.

“Calls for an independence referendum certainly won’t go away, but the FX market doesn’t seem to be reading the election outcome as heralding fresh immediate political risks for the pound,” said Richard Franulovich, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney.

The U.K. government has so far refused to grant Scotland permission to have a repeat of the 2014 referendum, throwing Johnson and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon into what could be a vicious and lengthy showdown over whether a new vote should be held.

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