Sterling jumped higher at the open of trading on Monday as investors reacted to new Brexit polls that were published over the weekend. The latest opinion polls indicated a shift in sentiment towards remaining in the European Union. With just a few days left before the EU referendum vote on June 23, there is more attention being paid now on whether Britons will vote to stay in the union.
Over the weekend, a popular British newspaper called The Mail on Sunday, published a poll showing 45% of participants in the survey were in favour of voting to remain in the EU compared to 42% in favor of leaving.
Meanwhile, UK bookmakers have also reduced the chance of a Brexit. The latest Betfair odds now indicate less than a 30% chance of a vote to leave the EU.
The pound reacted positively to the poll and surged as much as 2% against the US dollar today to reach a high of $1.4671 in early Euroepan trading, compared to Friday’s close of $1.4350.
There has been some stabilization in global markets after being volatile in recent days due to polls showing a lead in the ‘leave’ campaign. But since the murder last Thursday of British MP Jo Cox who was pro-remain, sentiment has appeared to have shifted towards staying in the EU. It was reported that UKIP Chief Nigel Farage acknowledged that the death of Jo Cox has had some effect on the polls and the Brexit campaign has lost momentum.
Aside from the rally in sterling, the so-called safe havens like the yen, gold and US Treasuries, have lost steam after having gained quite a bit last week.
Gold lost more than 1% so far today, extending its slide from a near 2-year high it reached last week. The precious metal eased as polls ahead of a referendum showed Britain could opt to remain in the European Union.
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