Singapore market set for volatility as Leave takes lead in Brexit referendum

Foreign currency exchanges are seen on a board in Sydney on June 23. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Singapore markets are likely off to a volatile start as the Brexit vote count has revealed that the leave camp is currently in the lead following a major win in Sunderland.

This will surprise the markets' optimistic view overnight, with the British currency already taking a beating.

Hours after the polling stations closed in Britain, the referendum vote count results so far in Friday (June 24) morning are showing 529,701 votes for leave, ahead of remain's 508,632 votes, according to BBC.

"The equities markets closed with gains yesterday due to expectations that remain is winning. But now we're seeing a surprising strength in the leave. As a result, we are seeing volatility in forex, especially in sterling crossing," CMC Markets senior sales trade Alex Wijaya told the Straits Times.

Reflecting the start of that panic, the British pound - which hit a 12-month high of 1.489 to the United States dollar overnight - tumbled to the 1.454 after the Sunderland results came in.

Sentiment in the Asian stock markets will also "realign" as they open within the hour, Mr Wijaya added.

The Straits Times Index closed up 0.28 per cent on Thursday at 2,793.85, similarly on expectations that remain will win.

Still, remisier Alvin Yong said it's too early to call, as there are still over 300 results to be declared.

"I don't think the vote count so far will have a major shock to the local market at the open. There's no yet panic among my clients. Some have in fact asked to buy more if the market goes down because they are confident that remain will win at the end of the day," Mr Yong said.

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