Positive but Nervous

June 20, 2016

By the end of this week, a great deal of uncertainty will have been removed from markets (UK markets in particular), with the UK referendum on EU membership over and done with. Weekend polls have removed the lead of the ‘leave’ camp, with the FT’s poll of polls now putting both sides level on 44% each (12% still undecided). Sterling has surged during Asia trade, up by more than 1.5% into the European open, having briefly touched the 1.46 level on sterling. Given the level of those who say they don’t know and also the impact of turnout on the night, there is still everything to play for on Thursday. Between now and then, it’s going to be a long week. Most of the central bank inaction was last week, leaving us with just RBA minutes released overnight, together with the latest minutes. Both FOMC’s Yellen and ECB’s Draghi are due to speak tomorrow. Note that stocks are also opening higher at the start of the week, boosted by the better tone seen in Asia and also the change in sentiment towards the EU poll on Thursday.

In terms of the main event of the week, voting takes place Thursday, ending at 21:00 local time with no exit polls. This means that markets will be hanging on the incoming results through the night, with the majority of results coming through between 01:00 and 03:00 local time on Friday. The tighter the results, then the longer we’ll have to wait until the final decision is known.

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