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Pound and FTSE rally on Remain hopes

Soros issues Brexit warning as markets rise

London Stock ExchangeTue close: Shares extended gains on Monday on growing expectations that Britain will vote to remain in the European Union.

The mood swing behind staying in Europe comes as billionaire investor George Soros warned of “serious consequences” for Britain if the country leaves the EU.

Writing in The Guardian he said sterling would “decline precipitously” if the Leave camp won Thursday’s vote.

He made his fortune betting against the pound on Black Wednesday in 1992, when Britain left the ERM. Today he says a Brexit would cause even bigger disruption.

Mr Soros warns that leaving the EU would see sterling fall by at least 15%, and possibly more than 20%, to below $1.15 from its current level of around $1.46.

“The value of the pound would decline precipitously,” he writes. “It would also have an immediate and dramatic impact on financial markets, investment, prices and jobs.

“I would expect this devaluation to be bigger and also more disruptive than the 15% devaluation that occurred in September 1992, when I was fortunate enough to make a substantial profit for my hedge fund investors.

“British voters are now grossly underestimating the true costs of Brexit. Too many believe that a vote to leave the EU will have no effect on their personal financial position. This is wishful thinking.”

Speaking for the Leave campaign, Matthew Elliott said: “The EU is costly, bureaucratic and blind to the impact it has had on people’s wages and soaring energy bills.”

The FTSE 100 closed up  0.36% or 22.55 points at 6,226.55, building on the 3% or 182.9 points gain yesterday following polls suggesting ‘Remain’ was ahead in the run-up to Thursday’s vote.

Analysts around the world are now focused on the UK’s EU referendum result.

The pound was continuing to trade at $1.46, after yesterday seeing the biggest one-day gain since March 2009, while Brent crude traded at $48.64, down 1.48% after nudging above $50 earlier.

 

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