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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Hillary Clinton has 81% chance of defeating Trump, Nate Silver predicts

Famed analyst accurately predicted state outcomes that led to Obama win in 2012 election but failed to foresee Trump becoming the Republican nominee

Hillary Clinton has an 81% chance of winning the election to Donald Trumps 19%, polling analyst Nate Silver said on Wednesday in his first model of the 2016 presidential election.

Silvers calculations are based on a model that processes polling data exclusively. A second model produced by Silvers FiveThirtyEight web site, taking in economics statistics and historical data, portrayed a slightly tighter race, at 74%-26% for Clinton.

Silver gained international fame for his perfect, 50-for-50 performance at predicting state outcomes in advance of the 2012 presidential election. Where many pundits saw a tight race between Republican nominee Mitt Romney and incumbent president Barack Obama, Silver correctly foresaw a 332-206 electoral college blowout.

Silvers performance was almost as good in 2008, when he correctly predicted outcomes in 49 of 50 states, and predicted the popular vote margin to within a percentage point.

Since becoming a smash success in 2012, however, Silver and his FiveThirtyEight colleagues have suffered some high-profile misses that could lead some observers to discount their predictions this year. Their most high-profile miss of all: Donald Trump.

Last August, Silver rated Trumps chances of winning the Republican nomination at 2%, and he remained bearish on Trumps candidacy throughout the fall. The mistake, he has since admitted, sprang from a blindness to the very data he has made a career reading so well. The polls showing Trumps strength were right; the nagging contextual information that Silver admitted he allowed get in the way historical data, gut feelings about the candidate was, in Trumps unique case, highly misleading.

FiveThirtyEight has made other mistakes. In March a FiveThirtyEight model gave Clinton a 99% chance of winning the Michigan primary; Bernie Sanders won by a half-point. In the 2014 midterms, the site failed to anticipate a Republican wave that generated multiple upsets for its models. The polls did have a strong bias this year, Silver wrote afterward.

Apologists for Silver might point out that despite his mistaken calls, he has usually been right, and quite precisely right, especially when it comes to presidential elections, which is the topic of inquiry at hand.

Silvers model is not out of line with recent national polling, which has given Clinton a lead of six or seven points, on average. The polls are not, however, uniform. A survey released on Wednesday by the reputable pollsters at Quinnipiac University depicted Clinton with only a two-point lead, 42-40.

Silvers modeling of a strong chance of victory for Clinton in 2016 is based on analysis of the 50 separate state races plus Washington DC. Clintons strength is visible in the 12 tightest state races as identified by the model. These toss-up races happen to a much higher degree in territory that Trump needs to win. In fact, Clinton does not need any of them: she could lose the first 12 toss-ups, as ranked by Silver, and still win the presidency, if only she won Florida, which Silvers model judges to be, at this juncture, the 13th-closest state race.

The model weighs in on other important questions about the 2016 race. This includes how Pennsylvania will vote, which has been safe Democratic territory but has trended Republican in recent election cycles. Silvers model gives Clinton an 85.9% chance of winning the state, and its 20 electoral votes.

The model also has Arizona, which should be a Republican shoe-in, basically tied, with a slight edge for Clinton. The model has North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire and Florida all leaning toward Clinton. The model really stinks for Trump.

Entertainingly, the FiveThirtyEight forecast includes a section that awards probabilities for crazy and not-so-crazy scenarios. For example, the model thinks that Trump has a 90.6% chance of winning at least one state Obama won in 2012; so keep your eye on Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. The model puts the probability of a Clinton landslide at 29.2%.

Obamas 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, predicted on Wednesday that Clinton would win the presidency with more than 350 electoral votes. It would not be a rare feat Obama beat John McCain 365-173 in 2008, and Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole 379-159 in 1996.

The question for Silver is whether he can go 3-0.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/29/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-nate-silver-poll-prediction

Leave campaign rows back on key immigration and NHS pledges

Tory MEP Daniel Hannan says Brexit voters will be disappointed if they think there will now be zero immigration from EU

The leave campaign has appeared to row back on key pledges made during the EU referendum campaign less than 24 hours after the UK voted for Brexit, after it emerged immigration levels could remain unchanged.

Leading Brexit figures had disagreed throughout the campaign on issues including immigration, free movement and the cost of the UKs EU membership.

But within hours of the result on Friday morning, the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, had distanced himself from the claim that 350m of EU contributions could instead be spent on the NHS, while the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan said free movement could result in similar levels of immigration after Brexit.

Hannan said: Frankly, if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.

His comments came after the leave camp made voters concerns about the impact of immigration on jobs, infrastructure and the NHS a key part of their campaigning.

There had been no suggestions of changing the status of any EU nationals in Britain, Hannan told the BBC, adding that no one had said this might be the case in the event of a leave victory.

All we are asking for is some control over roughly who comes in and roughly in what numbers.

Nigel Farage leaves a central London TV studio after his side won the EU referendum vote on Friday morning. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The issue is the latest area where leave campaigners appeared to be walking away from pledges made during the campaign, following Farages admission on Friday morning that the pledge plastered all over the official Vote Leave battle bus to spend money recouped from the EU on the NHS was a mistake.

Meanwhile, Liam Fox cast doubt on the necessity of triggering the article 50 clause of the Lisbon treaty that sets out the legal process for a countrys EU withdrawal.

A lot of things were said in advance of this referendum that we might want to think about again and that [invoking article 50] is one of them, said the Conservative MP.

I think that it doesnt make any sense to trigger article 50 without having a period of reflection first, for the cabinet to determine exactly what it is that were going to be seeking and in what timescale.

Ratings agency Moodys has lowered the outlook for the UKs credit rating from stable to negative amid what it said would prove a prolonged period of uncertainty following Britains vote to leave the European Union.

Moodys said the unpredictability of British decision-making had factored into its move, as had the likelihood of lower economic growth, which it said would outweigh any savings the UK might hope to get from not having to contribute to the EU budget.

Over the longer term, should the UK not be able to secure a favourable alternative trade arrangement with the EU and other countries, the UKs growth prospects would be materially weaker than currently expected, the agencys note said.

Standard and Poors has also warned that Britains top AAA credit rating was at risk.

Britains vote on Friday to leave the EU has sparked widespread turmoil and uncertainty, forcing the prime minister David Cameron to resign and wiping more than $2tn (1.46tn) of value from markets around the world.

The governor of the Bank of England has stepped forward to calm financial markets after the Brexit vote sent the pound to its lowest level since 1985 and at one point wiped 120bn off the value of Britains leading shares.

Amid fears that it could spark a fresh global financial crisis, Mark Carney said Threadneedle Street was ready to do whatever was needed to mitigate the impact of Britains vote to leave the EU. City traders quickly responded by placing bets on an interest rate cut by the end of the year.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/leave-campaign-rows-back-key-pledges-immigration-nhs-spending

Stock markets tumble after Leave vote – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images

Wall Street and the FTSE 100 both fell sharply in a wild day of trading after the UK voted for Brexit.

The London blue-chip index fell 7% in early trading to just over 5,800 points but ended the day 3.15% lower at 6,138.

New York and European markets all suffered even bigger falls, with the Dow Jones posting its biggest one-day slide in almost five years.

Sterling also plunged, falling more than 8% against the dollar and 6% against the euro.

Credit rating agency Moody’s cut the UK’s outlook from stable to negative on Friday night, saying the Brexit vote could result in weaker economic growth.

Wall Street fell sharply in late trading, with the Dow plunging more than 600 points, or 3.4%, to close at 17,400 points.

The S&P 500 fell 3.6% – the biggest daily slide in 10 months – while the Nasdaq slumped 4.1% to give the technology-focused index its worst day since 2011.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank, said: “This was really an event that caught most global investors flat-footed. We’re going to see more days like today as the collective wisdom may prove wrong in others cases, too.”

In London the FTSE 250, which mostly comprises companies that trade in the UK, shed 7.2% to close at 16,088 points.

Financial services group Aldermore was the biggest faller on the 250, down 32%, with house builder Crest Nicholson closing 26% lower.

House builders were also the three biggest fallers on the FTSE 100, with Taylor Wimpey suffering a 29% slide.

Liberum analyst Charlie Campbell said: “The outcome is bad for housebuilders’ shares as the combination of slowing GDP, rising longer-term rates and political uncertainty is like Kryptonite for that group of shares.”

However, the FTSE 100 index still ended the week higher than it started at 6,021 points.

Gold miner Randgold jumped 14%, while consumer-facing companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and Diageo all rose more than 3%.

The London market regained some poise after the Bank of England pledged to intervene to help shore up the markets.

Governor Mark Carney said the Bank was prepared to provide 250bn to support the markets, but added that “some market and economic volatility can be expected as this process unfolds”.

‘Bargain hunting’

The European Central Bank also said it was closely monitoring financial markets and was in close contact with other central banks.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said investors on the hunt for bargains helped the blue-chip index later in the day.

“A significant number of FTSE 100 stocks ended the day in positive territory, predominantly those companies with lots of overseas earnings, which stand to benefit from a weaker pound,” he said. “Looking forward, we expect further choppiness in the days and weeks to come.”

Brexit reaction: Business live

Brexit: Five areas to watch on the economy

Jack: The great business referendum snub

City shock at referendum result

UK interest rate ‘likely to hit zero’

How will Brexit affect your finances?

Property market lull may follow EU vote

Drivers ‘face rising petrol prices’

Business calls for stability and direction

Sterling fell more than 10% early on Friday to levels not seen since 1985, sinking as low as $1.3236 against the dollar, before regaining some ground to $1.3578.

John Higgins of Capital Economics said: “While this is still a lot lower than the $1.50 reached late on Thursday (UK time), it is not much different from the level that it reached a week earlier when the opinion polls first began to suggest that a Brexit was likely. It therefore seems disingenuous to suggest that sterling has collapsed in the wake of this outcome.”

Media captionAsk Andy: What happens to the pound after the UK’s EU vote?

UK government bond yields hit a new record low, with 10-year yields down more than 30 basis points to 1.018%, according to Reuters data.

Two-year yields fell more than 20 basis points to their lowest levels since mid-2013, at 0.233%.

European hit

Oil prices have also fallen sharply in the wake of the referendum outcome, with Brent crude down 4.9% to $48.41 a barrel – the biggest fall since February. US crude also fell 4.7% to $47.77 a barrel.

Gold jumped 5% to its highest level in more than three years at $1,322 an ounce.

The impact of the vote was also felt across the continent. The Dax in Frankfurt fell 6.8% – its worst day since 2008 – while Paris ended 8% lower, with falls of about 12% in both Milan and Madrid.

Capital Markets analyst Oliver Roth said the slide in the Dax “wasn’t quite as bad as we had feared. At the opening it was down almost 10% but the markets stabilised somewhat … However, there is great concern after this political disaster.”

IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, said the result of the vote would hit its profits, sending shares down 22.5% in London.

“Following the outcome of the referendum, and given current market volatility, while IAG continues to expect a significant increase in operating profit this year, it no longer expects to generate an absolute operating profit increase similar to 2015,” it said.

Image copyright Getty Images

UK banks were also hit hard, with Lloyds closing 21% lower, Royal Bank of Scotland fell 18.8% and Barclays shed 17.7%.

Along with housebuilders, the banking sector is regarded to be most at risk from a weaker UK economy.

In France, Societe Generale plunged 20% and BNP Paribas fell 17.4%, while in Germany Deutsche Bank slumped 14.1% and Commerzbank slid 13%.

Meanwhile, shares in Santander – the eurozone’s largest bank – fell almost 20% in Madrid.

David Tinsley at UBS said there would be “a significant rise in economic uncertainty” and that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was expected to take action, including interest rate cuts and an extension of its quantitative easing programme.

“We expect the MPC will cut policy rates to zero and make further asset purchases, in the first instance of 50-75bn, not later than February 2017,” he said.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36626085

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