The pound has rallied against the euro after suffering early polling days losses amid fears Britain could be heading for a hung parliament.
Sterling fell against the euro and the dollar throughout the morning and afternoon, hitting a low of €1.1755 and $1.3060 – as polls suggested a narrowing of the Conservative lead.
But by 8pm, with just two hours to go until the exit poll, sterling bounced back against both currencies, reaching €1.1847 and $1.3176.
The pound continues to fluctuate however, on what has been a volatile day for the markets, with it falling slightly against the euro and dollar just moments later.
Sterling fell against the euro and the dollar throughout the morning and afternoon, hitting a low of €1.1755 and $1.3060 – as polls suggested a narrowing of the Conservative lead (pictured, the pound against the euro today)
But by 8pm, with just two hours to go until the exit poll, sterling bounced back against both currencies, reaching €1.1847 and $1.3176 (pictured, the pound against the dollar today)
It comes amid jangling nerves in the City of London as business vie for an end to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit – hoping for a clear result this evening.
Boris Johnson has promised to bring an end to the uncertainty, in a move that would please economists and investors.
But the result looks too close to call ahead of the exit poll – with both Labour and the Conservatives claiming that high turnout will boost their chances.
Fears of a hung parliament are stalking financial markets after a key index of UK-focused firms slipped on Tuesday.
Investors were stunned by the latest poll from Yougov which indicated the Conservative lead over Labour is narrowing, and a hung Parliament remains a possibility.
The prospect of political stalemate – and the whiff of a Jeremy Corbyn-led coalition with the SNP – sent shock waves around City trading floors and unnerved ordinary investors.
The second-tier FTSE 250, which contains more domestic focused companies than the FTSE 100 and is seen as a bellwether of the UK economy, shed 133.98 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 20,647.11
Among the big fallers – down at least 3 per cent – were two firms with big exposures to the property market – Newriver Real Estate Investment Trust and student accommodation provider Unite Group.
Sterling was also under pressure and the FTSE 100 endured a roller-coaster ride as investors bet on the result of the election. The blue-chip index ended up slightly, by 2.49 points to 7216.25.
Going into today, Boris Johnson had a narrowing lead in the polls and is hoping to secure a swathe of northern Labour seats to give him a majority.
But Labour sources claim its traditional vote is holding up and the so-called ‘red wall’ is not crumbling as predicted weeks before the election.
One veteran Labour activist, who had previously been pessimistic about the party’s prospects said their vote appeared to be holding up better than feared in ‘red wall’ seats.
‘It doesn’t feel like there’s any real move towards Johnson or away from Corbyn,’ they said.
‘I think we could easily see almost exactly the same result as last time.’
Labour sources claim its traditional vote is holding up and the so-called ‘red wall’ is not crumbling as predicted weeks before the election, which could result in another hung parliament (Jeremy Corbyn is pictured)
Boris Johnson (pictured after voting in London today) has promised to bring an end to the uncertainty, in a move that would please economists and investors
A Tory defending a south east marginal said turnout seemed ‘very high’ so far and the result could be ‘closer’.
However, another Tory fighting to keep a seat in the north east said they believed turnout was ‘good’ among their own supporters.
Another Conservative source agreed that turnout looked ‘mega’.
But they added: ‘No way to know if it’s really up or if people are just voting early because it’s winter and they don’t want to do it after work.’
Boris Johnson’s hope of getting Brexit done was hanging in the balance tonight as voters turned out in their millions to take part in the most important election of a generation.
Constituencies across the country reported the longest queues seen at polling stations for years today, sparking fears of a Remainer ‘youthquake’ that could derail attempts to leave the EU.
Thousands snaked around the block outside schools, village halls, churches, pubs and other community buildings in the wet and cold to exercise their democratic right at the UK’s 50,000 polling stations from 7am.
But if turnout is confirmed as being high after the polls close at 10pm it could spell danger for Boris Johnson amid a tightening of his lead in the polls.