June 23, 2016 / 12:52 AM / a year ago

Global shares, sterling climb as poll flags UK to stay in EU

2 Min Read

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 23, 2016.Brendan McDermid

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Global share markets rallied while safe-haven debt wilted early in Asia on Friday as a poll of UK voters suggested the country would remain in the European Union, removing the latest threat to the future of the bloc and its single currency.

Sterling led the charge with a rush to $1.4992 GBP=, a high for the year so far, while the yen and Swiss franc faded as investors embraced riskier assets as voting in the referendum closed.

Futures for Japan's Nikkei NIYU6 jumped 3.55 percent, while EMINI futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 were up 1.76 percent.

The relief was heartfelt as financial markets have been racked for months by worries about what Brexit, or a British exit from the European Union, would mean for Europe's stability.

The campaign to keep Britain in the European Union appears to be ahead in Thursday's EU membership referendum, according to polling firm YouGov which surveyed people about how they voted, Sky News reported.

The online poll found 52 percent of respondents said they voted to remain in the EU and 48 percent voted to leave.

Wall Street had already moved to price in a "remain" vote and the Dow .DJI ended Thursday up 1.29 percent, while the S&P 500 .SPX rose 1.34 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC gained 1.28 percent.

That led to a pullback in safe-haven government debt but the losses were not especially large as there are plenty more risks to the global outlook, from a slowing U.S jobs market to financial strains in China.

Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR edged up 5 basis points to 1.74 percent, but that compares with a high early in the year of 2.24 percent.

Commodity bulls were cheered that at least one threat to global growth looked to have passed and pushed up base metals and oil prices.

Brent crude LCOc1 climbed $1.21, or 2.4 percent, to $51.09 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 gained 98 cents to $50.11 a barrel.

Editing by Lincoln Feast

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