At the close: Brexit poll sends FTSE 100 down for the month and knocks sterling back

 
Jake Cordell
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A new ICM poll gave the Leave side a 52-48 lead
A new ICM poll gave the Leave side a 52-48 lead (Source: Getty)

A shock EU referendum poll killed the FTSE 100’s chances of stumbling to a fourth consecutive month of growth today, as the blue chip index failed to stay above the 6,241 gain line.

The FTSE 100 closed the day down 0.6 per cent at 6,230.79 following a new ICM survey which put the Leave side four points ahead of Remain.

The news sent the index into near free fall in the final hour of trading, as it plunged 30 points to come in at 6,230 and record its first monthly loss since January.

The pound collapsed by more than one cent against the dollar, falling to $1.4538 almost as soon as the poll was published. Sterling was also off by 0.7 per cent against the euro at €1.3060 this afternoon.

Analysts said it sets the UK markets up for a rocky ride over the next three weeks until the In/Out vote on 23 June.

“What looked like a boring day in the markets has been kicked into gear ... after a surprise EU referendum poll in favour of the ‘Leave’ campaign ... this could set the groundwork for a very volatile week,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

Banking stocks bore the brunt of the sell-off, with Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Standard Chartered all closing down for by around two per cent.

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