Why Elmo shared the stage with Boris Johnson

Goldman Sachs says clarity on Brexit ‘should unlock pent-up business investment’

Goldman Sachs strategists reiterated a call on Friday to go long U.K. domestic stocks, particularly homebuilders and domestic banks. "Clarity on the UK’s terms of exit from the EU should unlock pent-up business investment; the reversal of a decade of fiscal consolidation should provide a fillip to domestic demand; and a pick-up in global growth should underpin a recovery in net exports," said analysts Zach Pandl, Sharon Bell and George Cole. They estimated that each additional 1 percentage point increase in U.K. GDP growth would add to earnings per share growth about 3 percentage points to FTSE 100 UKX, +1.73%, 5 percentage points to FTSE 250 MCX, +4.33% and 11 percentage points to domestically-oriented U.K. stocks.

Deutsche Bank: Don’t chase the British pound

Deutsche Bank advised clients not to chase the British pound GBPUSD, +1.7396%GBPEUR, +1.3276% after sterling’s massive gains overnight after the Conservatives secured a majority in Parliament. "We would be cautious in chasing any move higher in the pound, however, and remain neutral. The next focus will be the government’s policy on the UK and EU future economic relationship, a budget early next year, and the Bank of England’s monetary policy meeting next week," the bank said.

Germany's Merkel congratulates Johnson

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his victory in Britain’s parliamentary election, her spokesman said in a tweet on Friday.

“Congratulations, Boris Johnson, on your resounding victory. I look forward to working with you for the friendship and strong cooperation between our nations,” Steffen Seibert quoted her as saying.

The journey of rescue and recovery for volcano victims

In today’s podcast, we discuss the rescue mission that specialist teams are preparing to undertake to retrieve bodies from White Island, where a volcano erupted on Monday killing at least eight people.

We also hear tales of burn survivors, and the road to recovery ahead for many more who were injured.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Gold Edges Up On Weak Dollar

Gold prices were higher on Friday as a weaker U.S. dollar offset reports of a breakthrough in Sino-U.S. trade negotiations and the Conservative Party’s emphatic victory in the U.K. general election.

Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,471.85 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.25 percent at $1,476.05.

The British pound soared against the dollar and the euro after the ruling Conservative party secured a landslide victory in the U.K. snap election, ending the Parliamentary deadlock and making it possible to deliver Brexit by the end of January.

The results suggest that PM Johnson could push his Brexit deal through Parliament and take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by the January deadline.

The outcome is likely to bring an end to the Brexit deadlock in Parliament that has paralyzed the country.

On the trade front, media reports suggest that Washington has offered to slash existing tariffs and cancel new ones set to take effect Sunday as part of a deal to boost Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods and obtain other concessions.

However, both sides are yet to formally confirm the news ahead of a Sunday deadline, when new U.S. tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods will take effect.

Oil Prices Climb To Three-month High On Trade Optimism

Oil prices hit their highest level in nearly three months on Friday, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. is getting close to a “big deal” with China.

Benchmark Brent crude for February settlement climbed 1.25 percent to $64.99 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate futures for January delivery were up 1 percent at $59.78 a barrel.

The U.S.-China trade war looked set to de-escalate, with reports suggesting that Washington has offered to slash existing tariffs and cancel new ones set to take effect Sunday as part of a deal to boost Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods and obtain other concessions.

Reports say that the terms have been agreed but the legal text has not yet been finalized.

Both sides are yet to formally confirm the news ahead of a Sunday deadline, when new U.S. tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods will take effect.

Meanwhile, the ruling Conservative party secured a landslide victory in the U.K. snap election, ending the Parliamentary deadlock and making it possible to deliver Brexit by the end of January.

The results suggest that PM Johnson could push his Brexit deal through Parliament and take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by the January deadline.

The outcome is likely to bring an end to the Brexit deadlock in Parliament that has paralyzed the country.

Why Elmo shared the stage with Boris Johnson

It may seem odd that Boris Johnson declared victory in front of Elmo.

But in images captured worldwide, the U.K. prime minister announced his Conservatives won a sweeping victory in front of the Sesame Street character.

It’s a U.K. tradition for all candidates to appear on stage as results are announced. As a result, oddball characters tend to challenge high-profile opponents since they are assured a television appearance.

Bobby “Elmo” Smith was an opponent of Johnson’s in the constituency of Uxbridge & Ruislip South, and he wasn’t even the strangest character.

Lord Buckethead of the Monster Raving Loony Party also faced off against Johnson, as did Count Binface, running as an independent.

“I thank my fellow candidates in all their glory,” Johnson said. “Lord Buckhead, Elmo and others, forgive me if I don’t identify them all.”

Johnson took the constituency with over 25,000 votes or about 53%, with Labour’s Ali Milani capturing 37.6% of the vote.

Of the more oddball characters, Lord Buckethead won 125 votes, Count Binface secured 69 votes (nice) and Elmo got a mere 8 votes.