Posted on Thursday 23 June 2016 by Ulster Business

Pound rallies as markets bet on remain vote

The pound has rallied to a six-month high as financial markets react to a poll which put the Remain camp ahead in the EU Referendum.

Ipsos Mori, in a poll carried out earlier this week but released today as voting progresses, showed a four point lead for Remain with 52% of people surveyed voting for the UK to stay part of the EU as opposed to 48% voting to Leave.

That has helped embolden traders in financial markets, driving sterling to a high of $1.4947 against the dollar, a level not seen since December.

The euro also rallied, climbing to €1.1422 at one stage, while the FTSE 100 briefly hit a two-month high, although both have eased back in the early afternoon, proof that traders remain jittery.

Expectations that growth in the UK economy would slow were the UK to vote to leave the EU had weighed on sentiment over the last few weeks and although early indications suggest the Remain camp is ahead, nearly every poll has revealed an extremely tight race.

In a statement released yesterday, one of the most influential business organisations here said Northern Ireland would be forfeiting up to 36,800 jobs by leaving the EU.

The CBI said that EU membership is vital for every sector operating on these shores and that a Leave vote would be hugely detrimental for the economy.

“Virtually every leading economist agrees that leaving the EU would likely cause an economic shock, creating uncertainty and damaging Northern Ireland’s prospects,” CBI Regional Director Nigel Smyth said. “We’d not only seriously undermine what we have now, we’d also miss out on thousands of jobs in the near future, as a result of losing access to the Single Market, pulling the rug from under our local economy and the jobs we need to create for our young people.

“By generating more wealth and prosperity and building upon the hard won peace, the public and private sectors can jointly tackle one of the great challenges of our society, namely reducing the high levels of economic inactivity and long-term unemployment.

The results of the referendum won’t be known until Friday morning.


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