Tough path ahead for UK's new leader Theresa May

Markets have welcomed the stability of a new prime minister in Britain but can Theresa May be good for business with the huge challenge of Brexit negotiations ahead?

LONDON (Reuters) - The last woman standing in the UK leadership race at least had some fancy footwear to do it in.

What she needs now is some fancy footwork - to get the UK out of the EU with pride - and trade - intact.

"That is an important job and we are going to get it done. But we also need a government that will deliver serious social reform" said Theresa May, candidate to be the next British Prime Minister.

And that will heal a ruling party fractured by Brexit.

Though that may be nothing compared to uniting a nation.

With pledges of an end to austerity and easing budget deficit targets, worker representatives on company boards and of narrowing the wealth gap - she does talk of doing that.

"We're still in a situation where political words are being bandied about. It's quite useful for Theresa May to actually get on board this whole implicitly anti 'fat cat' bandwagon. I don't necessarily think it's that material at this stage," said City Index market analyst Ken Odelung.

But the rapid departure of David Cameron as prime minister left a vacuum she is filling.

For investors: less uncertainty and a recovery in battered UK asset prices.

If for May, the EU exit deal negotiations ahead could yet prove to be the real bruising - and not just for her.

"There is the perception of political instability or at least fractious relations between the UK and Europe on an ongoing basis, that could cause consumers to be rather more precautionary and that would make the growth trajectory that much slower," said CIBC head of FX strategy Jeremy Stretch.

If it isn't already slower.

Blackrock - the world's largest asset manager - is the latest to sound the alarm: it sees UK recession as a definite in the coming year.

Ultimately unopposed as leader, May's easy stroll into Downing Street could soon become a tightrope walk.