June 23, 2016 marks the date in which the highly anticipated Brexit referendum will happen. Voting is currently in motion to ultimately decide whether Britain will remain a member of the European Union.
The voting was set to occur between 6:00 GMT, or 7:00 AM London time, and 21:00 GMT or 10:00PM in London. Referendum results are expected early Friday morning.
Britain has been sectioned into 382 voting areas with each one planning to announce their results when the votes have been tallied.
Market players and investors worry that a Brexit vote would hurt global stocks, bonds and currencies—specifically the pound. Several analysts have estimated that the said currency could decline by 15%.
Norway's central bank believes Britain will vote to stay, but stands ready to deal with any market turmoil otherwise, according to Governor Oeystein Olsen on Thursday.
"We have assumed Britain will remain (in the EU) and that things will calm down," Olsen said in a news conference, following a decision to keep Norwegian interest rates on hold.
In forex news, GBP/USD climbed to a daily peak of 1.4845, the highest level since December 31. It last traded at 1.4785 during morning hours in London, up 0.5% for the day.
Meanwhile, FTSE 100 inched 1% higher. Global stocks are mostly higher as the Brexit vote gets underway. Nikkei 225 gained 1%, the DAX added 0.8%, while US futures firm.
Sterling reached six-month high against the greenback as polls steer towards “Bremain”.
Pre-referendum Poll Results
The recent polls revealed that the “Leave” and “Remain” campaign race was extremely tight. The YouGov poll for The Times newspaper published on Wednesday that 51% of Britons opted to stay in the EU, while the remaining 49% with the country’s exit.
Previously in a YouGov poll, the “Leave” camp was leading.
Meanwhile, a ComRes poll published for the Daily Mail newspaper and ITV television presented that the “Remain” campaign had a 48% to 42% lead over the opposing faction.
A TNS poll showed 41% to stay and 43% to leave, with 16% undecided. An Opinium poll revealed a 44% vote from the “Remain” camp with 45% for leave and 11% undecided.
Despite the close race, markets appeared to be more confident in the online booking odds. Betfair unveiled the chances to remain in the EU at 84% on Thursday. Nonetheless, the final result may not come until the last second.
FSM News aims to deliver useful information to our valued readers. Subscribe to our daily newsletter to receive market updates.