Tuesday, 21st June: Markets thrived on weekend polls yesterday, swaying towards a “remain” vote, but with 2 days to go now, polls and surveys are indicating a divided opinion that the outcome of Thursday’s referendum is too close to call. David Beckham has had his say today, casually listing a number of European players he has had the pleasure of playing with, whilst also highlighting his playing career playing in Madrid, Milan and Paris “with teammates from all around Europe and the world”. Three new polls were released yesterday, with two of three swaying in favour of a “remain” vote. Markets reflected on the slight uncertainty: the FTSE 100 spent most of the day trading negatively but reversed to end the day +0.36%. Sterling continued to strengthen vs the dollar (pre-Yellen comments) but fell back in later European trading.
In the US, Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke in a speech before the US senate. She offered optimism for the US economy’s short term prospects but also acknowledged that “the slow productivity growth seen in recent years will continue into the future”, whilst giving no indication of any rate rise when Fed officials next meet at the end of July. There is now only a 12% probability of a rate rise in July, a significant fall from the 66% probability only 2 weeks ago. The US dollar made gains (at the time of writing) on the back of Yellen’s comments, the first time it has done so vs the pound in five trading sessions, however the pound is up >1.5% month-to-date, reclaiming intra-month losses of nearly 3%.
If you are a social media user you may be one of the half billion users the photo-sharing app Instagram now has. Facebook bought the service back in 2012 for c.$1bn, with users growing rapidly ever since. According to Facebook, an average of 95 million photos and videos are posted each day, with more than 300 million people using it at least once a day.
French and German indices followed the FTSE’s positive end to the day, closing +0.61% and +0.54% respectively. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones were both trading slightly higher at the time of writing. Brent oil was lower by 1.34%, dropping back below $50/bbl.