10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.

It is finally referendum day. Brits go to the polls today to vote on whether or not the UK should vote to stay in the European Union. Polls suggest that the race is too close to call, although the Remain camp appears to have a small lead.

Britain leaving the EU would not be as bad for the markets as the Lehman Brothers collapse. Britain leaving the European Union would have a strong negative on European equity markets, but the impact would be nowhere near as bad as the fallout following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, according to Goldman Sachs.

British high street banks are stockpiling cash. High-street banks are building their cash reserves for Friday under orders of the financial regulator, in case a vote to leave the EU prompts mass withdrawals, the Financial Times reports.

Oil prices are gaining. Oil prices rose in Asian trading on Thursday, shrugging off a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. stockpiles, as the market nervously awaited the result of Britain’s “Brexit” vote. Both benchmarks are up around 0.7% this morning.

Wall Street is turning its back on Elon Musk. Musk’s electric-car company, Tesla, made an offer to buy Musk’s solar-power company, SolarCity.

Japan’s manufacturing sector is shrinking. Japanese manufacturing activity contracted in June at roughly the same pace as the previous month, a preliminary survey showed, but concerns remain due to supply chain disruptions from an earthquake in April and falling exports.

Venezuela’s opposition is one step closer to ousting President Nicolas Maduro.The opposition appears to have the signatures to move forward with a recall referendum.

One analyst doesn’t think Google is getting enough credit in the market, arguing the company’s cloud business could cause the stock to soar to over $900.

Secretive $20 billion startup Palantir is buying $225 million of stock back from employees, in exchange for their silence.

Goldman Sachs-backed bitcoin payment app Circle just raised $60 million. Bitcoin-based payment app Circle has raised $60 million (£40.8 million) as payments over its app hit $1 billion (£680 million) a year. Circle on Thursday also announced the launch of a Chinese venture and plans to offer euro transfers as part of European expansion.

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