LONDON (Reuters) – British financial markets placed a raft of late bets that Scots would vote “No” to independence on Thursday, pushing the pound and Scottish-based stocks higher in the final hours of polling.
Since a poll almost two weeks ago showed a surge in support for the “Yes” campaign, worries of a vote that would send a shockwave through Britain’s political and financial system have weighed on UK markets.
But sterling has steadily recovered this week on the back of a series of surveys showing the “No” vote holding on to its slender lead.
The latest poll on Thursday, published by London’s Evening Standard newspaper as Scots began to vote, showed 53 percent in favour of the status quo, versus 47 percent for independence. In contrast to previous polls, undecideds totalled only 4 percent.
“It seems people are growing reasonably confident of a ‘No’ vote in Scotland,” said Ian Gunner, portfolio manager at Altana Hard Currency Fund.
Sterling gained more than 0.7 percent against the dollar to trade at $1.6401. That compared to a 10-month low of $1.6051 struck last week. Sterling hit its highest against the euro in two years.
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