Advertise with

Asia markets edge up, pound rallies as Britain votes
Asia markets edge up, pound rallies as Britain votes

Asia markets edge up, pound rallies as Britain votes


Fin24 - Jun 23rd 2016, 08:16

Hong Kong - The pound rallied against the dollar in Asian trade while stock markets were mostly up but traders stepped nervously as they await the result of Britain's in-out EU referendum on Thursday. 

Attention around the globe is now fixated on the ballot, which opinion polls are saying is too close to call but bookmakers suggest will definitely see a victory for the "remain" camp.

Markets suffered a sharp sell-off last week after surveys indicated the country would leave, which many analysts warn could lead to another global rout just months after a China-fuelled sell-off that wiped trillions off valuations.

However, they have rallied over the past four days as the pro-EU campaign has recovered momentum.

"Public opinion polls keep changing," Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

"There are going to be very few investors today who feel able to trade, so it's hard to get a clear direction in the market."

With just hours until voting begins, the pound climbed to $1.4822 from $1.4737 in New York and around 2016 highs. Sterling has risen almost six percent since hitting a two-month low last Thursday.

However, Bill Fitzpatrick, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management, warned: "Anybody who is predicting this with a high degree of certainty is delusional.

"There's plenty of room for risk assets to move higher, but I would wait."

Equity markets drifted, with Tokyo up 0.5% by the break and Sydney 0.1% higher while Hong Kong rose 0.2%, Shanghai lost 0.1% and Seoul shed 0.4%.

Adding to the uncertainty were remarks from Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen, who told lawmakers the US economy faced "considerable uncertainty" from weak domestic activity and a possible British EU exit.

Pointing to slower hiring and business investment, as well as the EU vote, she Yellen signaled that the Fed has become less optimistic about short-term growth and will proceed with caution on plans to raise interest rates.

Despite the shrinking chances of another US rate hike happening this year, the dollar climbed to ¥104.79 from ¥104.51. 

Read more about: britain | asisan markets | markets | equities

Related News

4 reasons to be hopeful about South Africa’s economy
12/09/2019 - 14:40
Markets responded positively to South Africa’s economic growth rebounding in the second quarter, up 3.1%, and 0.9% for the year to June 2019.

Lego's sales bounce back with the help of Marvel superheroes
04/09/2019 - 09:11
Models of superheroes and villains from Marvel’s Avengers movies helped lift first-half sales at Lego, as the Danish toymaker continued its turnaround drive with investments in China, India, the internet and new stores.

Predatory imports are killing small chicken firms
29/07/2019 - 11:01
Local chicken producers and importers are arguing over the potential impact that import tariffs could have on South African consumers, jobs and rural development.

Pioneer Foods confident competition authorities won't reject R24.4bn PepsiCo deal
25/07/2019 - 15:00
Pioneer Foods CEO Tertius Carstens is confident that the company’s R24bn takeover by PepsiCo will be approved by competition authorities, as he believes the acquisition has no negative implications for local industries.

Tesco says no timetable for 'finest' store launch
20/06/2019 - 09:10
Tesco, Britains biggest retailer, said it is considering a trial of an upmarket convenience store under the 'Tesco finest' banner but has not disclosed when or where the pilot will be launched.