LONDON — The pound is little moved on Friday morning as early counts suggest solid gains for the Conservative Party in local elections held on Thursday in the UK.
With results in 4,851 council seats plus six regional mayoral contests expected on Friday, the elections will give a good indication of how voters are feeling ahead of the general election in five weeks and may signal how big the Conservative Party’s majority will be after the June vote.
Early signs also suggest that the Labour Party will endure big losses across the country, while UKIP looks virtually spent as an electoral force after the Brexit vote.
The pound, however, has failed to react strongly to early results, and by around 8.15 a.m. BST (3.15 a.m. ET) is virtually flat against the dollar, trading at $US1.2935, an upward move of 0.1% from the day’s open.
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Away from the pound, in focus for the markets on Friday is the monthly jobs report out of the USA. Economists are anticipating a rebound in job growth after an unexpected dip in March capped off what we now know was the worst quarter for the US economy in three years.