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    Pound eases from 6-month highs as Brexit vote gets underway

    The pound eased after touching six month highs overnight as voting in a landmark referendum on whether the U.K. should remain in the European Union got underway.

    GBP/USD was last at 1.4760, up 0.36% for the day after touching highs of 1.4845 overnight, the strongest level since December 31.

    Sterling reviewed a boost late Wednesday after an opinion poll indicated that support for the Remain campaign edged into the lead.

    The YouGov poll for The Times newspaper showed that 51% of voters supported the campaign to remain in the EU, with 49% supporting Brexit, after a previous YouGov poll showing a lead for the campaign to leave.

    A second poll, conducted by ComRes for the Daily Mail newspaper and ITV (LON:ITV) television showed the Remain campaign had a 48% to 42% lead over the Leave camp.

    Investors fear that a Brexit vote would hit global stocks, bonds and currencies, in particular the pound, which some analysts have predicted could slump by 15%.

    Reuters reported Thursday that finance leaders form the G7 nations will issue a statement stressing their readiness to take all necessary steps to calm markets in the event of a Brexit vote.

    Rating agency Standard and Poor’s said Thursday that Britain’s triple A credit rating would be downgraded within a short period of time if the U.K. were to exit.

    Sterling was trading close to three-week highs against the euro, with EUR/GBP sliding 0.18% to 0.7661.

    Against the dollar the single currency pushed higher, with EUR/USD rising 0.24% to 1.1322.

    The dollar was steady against the safe haven yen, with USD/JPY at 104.50, not far from the two-year trough of 103.53 set last Thursday.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.21% at 93.62.


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