Donald Trump's victory in the US election will have much less of an impact on business in the UK channel than the Brexit vote, according to resellers and channel experts, despite markets wobbling and currency fluctuations today.
The FTSE 100 fell two per cent and the value of the dollar fell fractionally compared with the pound in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of Trump's triumph over Hillary Clinton. The FTSE EuroFirst 300 dipped 0.7 per cent, but this is much lower than the almost nine per cent drop immediately following the Brexit vote in June.
Clive Longbottom, founder of analyst Quocirca, said the American presidency affects the world, whereas Brexit was much more internal, so while the effects are much more wide reaching this time, they aren't as impactful to each country.
"It is so leftfield that no one knows what is going to happen. The markets are just sitting there trembling. They haven't got a clue what it means and I think that is going to be the case for commerce and industry as well. It is not an American thing; this is global. To put such a person in the White House isn't just a case of what it means for the 50 states. This is not just dropping a small pebble into a large lake and seeing where the ripples go, this is a big tsunami that is going to wash around the world," he said.
"Brexit was already such a ball-breaker, such a stupid decision, that the markets have taken a dim view of what we have done. [The election] sends shockwaves around the globe. Whereas most other currencies have climbed quite heavily we are still where we were yesterday. For us it is going to be a bit of a slow burn."
"This is a big tsunami that is going to wash around the world."
The value of the pound took a big hit following the Brexit vote, falling from $1.49 on the day of the vote to $1.22 at the beginning of October. After the US election it is now at $1.24, a decrease of 17 per cent from June.
The last few months have seen a hike in prices from vendors including HP Inc, HPE, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple and Asus. A fresh round of price rises appear to be on the cards from HPE, Lenovo and Fujitsu by the end of the year.
Mike Bacon (pictured right), managing director of VAR Academia, said he doesn't see the US election having much of an impact on business, and that any fall in the dollar's value is unlikely to reverse Brexit-based hikes.
"I don't think it is going to make any impact on our business that I can control," he added. "We don't export significantly. I think the stock markets are having a bit of a wobble but that happened post-Brexit and my guess is that it will settle.
"I think all the price increases to come have already come. Surely [the exchange rate] can't go down any more. I'm sure the manufacturers have seen this coming and built it in. I'd be disappointed if prices go up again this side of Christmas. It is one-way traffic; they won't decrease prices."
Elsewhere in the world, the US election saw the value of the Japanese yen surge by four per cent this morning, while the Mexican peso fell around 12 per cent.
"When Brexit happened the uncertainty was very much focused on the UK," explained Longbottom. "Here, it is a case that it is global. We've seen Japan is already doing well as it is seen as a safe haven, and China will do well out of it as well. If the US becomes protectionist then the rest of the world will have to look to China. We have to look among ourselves to see who we can do that trade with which we would have done with the US."
Tony Lock (pictured right), distinguished analyst at Freeform Dynamics, said that with all the uncertainty that the election brings to an already uncertain market following Brexit, some customers may hold off on large projects until the market stabilises.
"I think how the UK trades generally is even more in a state at the minute. Trump simply adds to the confusion. It is a case of planning for every contingency. Don't be surprised if the channel's customers start deferring more and more projects until they get a feel for how the market is going to settle. I think there will be three or four months of comparative inactivity on the part of customers buying major stuff," he said.
"Channel difficulties in the UK will be affected a lot more by the drop in sterling than this election. Quite how sterling reacts to this I have no idea. Prices are going up, that is inevitable. It is almost impossible to predict."
However, some channel players think the US election will have almost no effect on the UK channel at all.
Scott Fletcher, founder of ANS Group, said the only similarity between Brexit and the election is that "people have made a stand against the political establishment", and believes we can't predict what will happen until Trump steps into the presidency.
"From a business point of view it won't have much of an impact except the volatility of the market," he said. "The American people have spoken and they need to be respected. It is monumental in that the people have made a stand against the political establishment in the UK and the US, but that is where the parallel ends. A president is in for a four-year term which is relatively short, whereas coming out of the EU is a change of a generation, possibly a lifetime.
"If anything, I think Trump is more pro-UK than Obama was, so it might have a positive impact. Uncertainty and volatility is not good in general but I think it will settle down. I think that is where the impact will be. I don't think we really know what it will be like until he starts doing the job."
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CDW's UK boss Dan Laws tweeted:
Mitchell Feldman, CEO of RedPixie, said:
Computacenter's chief technologist Bill McGloin said:
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