- Posted by Shyam Gokani in Bank of England, Brexit, Currency, David Cameron, Dollar, Economy, EUR, GBP, Mark Carney, Referendum, Sterling, UK
- June 22, 2016
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Sterling rose today, moving back towards a 5-1/2-month high against the dollar, as investors cut bets against the pound just a day before Britain votes on whether to remain in the European Union. Tomorrow
While opinion polls suggested the vote on Thursday was too close to call, the implied probability of a vote to remain in the European Union was at 75 percent, according to Betfair betting odds. It was at around 60 percent last Thursday before the murder of pro-EU lawmaker Jo Cox seemed to have somewhat shifted sentiment towards the “Remain” camp.
Yet a telephone poll released on Tuesday and conducted by Survation for spread-betting firm IG on Monday, put support for “In” at 45 percent, ahead of “Out” on 44 percent.
With different polls putting each side ahead, the BBC screened a debate Tuesday evening from Wembley Arena in London, where an audience of 6,000 cheered and jeered as advocates of leaving and remaining in the 28-nation bloc confronted each other.
The fieriest arguments were within the governing Conservative Party. Both Johnson and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, arguing for “Leave,” were confronted by the leader of the party in Scotland, Ruth Davidson.
“You are being asked to make a decision that is irreversible, we can’t change, we wake up on Friday and we don’t like it and we are being sold it on a lie,” Davidson said. “They lied about the cost of Europe, they lied about Turkey’s entrance to Europe, they lied about the European army,” she told the audience. “You deserve the truth.”
Johnson urged the nation to make Thursday “our country’s independence day.”
Swiss investment bank UBS, one of the biggest currency traders in the $5-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, warned its clients it may fail to execute some orders on its electronic trading platform should the referendum affect liquidity or cause extreme volatility.
The uncertainty over Brexit has hurt sterling since late last year. Britain’s hefty current account deficit – 7 percent of output in the last quarter of 2015 – makes the economy vulnerable to any pull-back in investment flows, which economists reckon would happen if Britain votes to leave.
George Soros, the billionaire who earned fame by betting against the pound in 1992, said in an opinion piece published by the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday that a Brexit would trigger a bigger and more disruptive sterling devaluation than the fall on Black Wednesday 24 years ago.
1 Day to go!!