After Argentina and Turkey, could Brazil be the next emerging market (EM) that goes into crisis? These events are not linked – each of these countries currently has idiosyncratic weaknesses. In the case of Brazil, the fiscal deficit is in the spotlight, coupled with the presidential elections in October.
On the face of it, things don’t look good for Mexico; and that’s reflected in asset prices. Its largest trading partner has threatened to scrap a free trade agreement that's been in place for almost a quarter century. In addition, a populist is leading in the polls to replace President Peña in the July elections. But look again and you might see a country potentially on the cusp of a spectacular comeback.
In a surprising result, the general election has ended in a hung parliament. At the time of writing, the Conservative party has won approximately 318 seats. Labour is at 261, the SNP 35, the Liberal Democrats 12 and the DUP 10. UKIP did not win any seats.
When Theresa May called the snap election in mid-April it was hers to lose, with the Conservatives leading Labour in the polls by around 20 percentage points – the highest since the early 1980s – which could have yielded a majority of circa 100 seats.
In the event, the gamble has failed to pay off, and the governance of the country hangs in the balance.
In a largely anticipated result, Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election. The contest has been one of the most closely watched political and market-relevant events in Europe, and the most hotly contested French election in recent history. But with a winning margin of 66% vs Marine Le Pen’s 34%, Macron’s victory is decisive. Turnout was low by French standards at 74%.
With the final round of the French elections just days away, the political moment that people have been talking about since President Trump’s election has arrived. While the polls point to an overwhelming win for Macron, I take a quick look at the ways in which this election could still turn, and also the reasons why this time could be different to Brexit and Trump.
Markets toasted France on Sunday night (April 23) as Macron made the second round to challenge Marine Le Pen. It broke a sequence of shock election results in G7 countries and for once meant our Asset Allocation team got a full night’s sleep (see Sunday Bleus which we updated live on Sunday night).