European stocks are jumping

European stocks are broadly stronger on Thursday as all the markets’ attention remains focused on Britain’s EU referendum. Brits will vote throughout the day on whether or not the UK should leave the EU, or remain.

Around 9:15 a.m. BST (4:15 a.m. ET) all of the continent’s major indexes are in positive territory, although traders are tiptoeing on the day, and gains are limited to around 0.75% at best.

Here in the UK, the FTSE 100 is higher by 0.65% to 6,302 points. The biggest winners on the day so far are commodity firm Glencore (3% higher) and Shell (2%) higher. Only a handful of stocks are in the red, with United Utilities 2.67% lower, the biggest loser.

Here is how the FTSE 100 looks:

And here is the scoreboard for the rest of the continent:

  • German DAX: up 0.66% to 10,138 points
  • French CAC 40: up 0.77% to 4,413 points
  • Italian FTSE MIB: up 0.36% to 17,385 points
  • Spanish IBEX 35: up 0.3% to 8,728 points
  • Eurostoxx 50: down 0.04% to 2,997 points

Here is what Accendo Markets’ Mike van Dulken said about the market movements a little earlier this morning:

The positive European open follows “a cautiously mixed session in Asia which is in contrast to a negative US finish that comes as UK voters decide whether to stay in the European Union. Overnight polls still suggest the result could be very close although a late tilt towards Remain has helped bolster bullish sentiment in early trading on the hope that the status quo is maintained and an uncertain outlook will not prevail.

Japan’s Nikkei is outperforming thanks to the Yen holding below recent highs, the currency in less demand as a safehaven from Brexit concerns and so exporters getting the usual competitive boost.”

The outcome of the UK’s referendum is uncertain, with polling agencies reporting swings between the Leave and Remain camps in the past few days. For instance, one TNS poll conducted online between 16 – 22 June, and released on Wednesday, puts Remain at 41% (+1), Leave: 43% (-4).

Elsewhere in the markets, the pound is marginally stronger. At just after 9:15 a.m. BST (4:15 a.m. ET) sterling is up 0.5% against the dollar to trade at $1.4796.

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