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  • In case you hadn't noticed, Wednesday was budget day in the UK.

  • Cue rolling television coverage and special editions of all the newspapers.

  • It's all great theatre, but in market terms the budget is usually a total non-event.

  • The average movements in the stock market,

  • in the exchange rate and in the government bond yield on budget days

  • are barely any different from the movements on any other day of the year.

  • But this year, it would be unwise to switch off from post-budget coverage altogether.

  • And the reason for that is that, like everything else in British politics,

  • budgets must now be viewed through the prism of Brexit.

  • Philip Hammond's main objective with this year's Budget was not to get sacked.

  • A weak affair might have hastened his departure, and that would be bad news for sterling,

  • because investors like Mr. Hammond's perceived pragmatism.

  • He favours a gentler version of Brexit and is a vocal backer of City interests in Europe.

  • If he went, it is likely he would be replaced with a more skeptical minister.

  • Brexit-favouring Michael Gove is the bookmakers' favourite.

  • Backroom manoeuvring over the budget

  • is seldom evidenced on the day of the speech itself.

  • Mr Hammond was, of course, cheered to the rafters by his own MPs.

  • Budgets usually unravel in the days after,

  • like George Osborne's infamous "omnishambles" in 2012.

  • Signs to watch out for include negative stories in the rightwing press,

  • sniping comments from anonymous colleagues, and worst of all,

  • budget measures that attract their own uncomplimentary monikers.

  • A 2017 equivalent of 2012's "granny tax" would surely be a cue to sell the pound.

In case you hadn't noticed, Wednesday was budget day in the UK.

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