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FTSE 100 rises 2% on Brexit poll shift

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The FTSE 100 rose by over 2% this morning on the back of a shift in opinion polls away from a Brexit vote towards the Remain camp in this Thursday’s EU referendum.

The biggest winners were financials, with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds shares both rising by over 5%.

House builders also benefited from the Remain vote taking the lead in the polls as they were also up over 5%.

Travel Groups Thomas Cook and International Airlines have also traded well this morning at 8% and 5% respectively.

However, gold mining companies haven’t fared so well, as Fresnillo and Randgold Resources saw the value of shares fall.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said if investors want to get an idea of what stocks will do well in the event of a vote to stay in the UK, today’s FTSE leader board is a good indicator.

He said: “The market has clearly identified financials and house builders as beneficiaries of a vote to remain in the UK, with a sterling rally also indicating how the currency might move if we vote to remain in Europe.”

The FTSE 250 also rose by over 2% this morning, though there was one very big loser- Circassia Pharmaceuticals – as its shares fell by 65% following a failed drugs trial.

Star fund manager Neil Woodford has a 4% position in Circassia, via the Woodford Patient Capital fund. It fell by 0.6% today, however Circassia is just one of over 60 companies held in Woodford Patient Capital, so the “extreme fall in price will be diluted by the other holdings in the fund”, said Khalaf.

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