EU referendum: Banking stocks rule the roost as Brexit camp slips back

 
Jake Cordell
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Banking stocks are going up, up, up ...
Banking stocks are going up, up, up ... (Source: Getty)

Banking stocks have stormed up the FTSE 100 today, as markets react as if we've already had the result of the EU referendum.

The bluechip index charged higher in morning trading as a number of opinion polls released late last night and today showed the swing back towards Remain was holding right up until polling day.

The FTSE 100 soared another 1.2 per cent after one of its most impressive weeks in recent history, standing at 6,333.70. Last Thursday it closed down at 5,950.

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Banks - expected to be particularly vulnerable from a vote to leave the EU given their reliance on Eurozone markets - were the big winners.

Barclays added 2.4 per cent today to stand at 186p. That takes its climb over the past week - from 158p - to a whopping 17 per cent.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) wasn't far behind, rising 2.3 per cent to 252p, taking gains over the last seven days to an even more impressive 18 per cent.

Read more: What time will the EU referendum be announced?

HSBC, with larger non-EU operations, hasn't risen by quite as much, but today's 1.9 per cent gain puts it six per cent up over the last seven days.

As the chances of the UK voting to leave tumbled - Remain has been shorter than 1/5 at points today - financial markets have also soaked up the news, pouring back into risky assets to try and beat a post-Remain bounce.

Sterling also marched on, up 1.25 per cent on the day at $1.4891 - its highest level since 2015 - in another sign that financial markets believe the result could be a foregone conclusion.

Analysts at Liberum suggested this morning that banking stocks could climb by between six and eight per cent on a vote to stay.

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