UK Referendum Vote Underway

Daily Analysis - 23/06/2016

Referendum on EU Membership Today



The UK’s referendum vote on EU membership will be decided today as Britons head to polls. So far there is no conclusive lead on the either side of the vote, which is likely to turn into a nail biting finish. The markets are expected to remain volatile for the most part today with the sterling at the biggest risk followed by gold and the yen.


Swiss Economic Sentiment Rises to Its Highest Since 2014

The Swiss ZEW economic sentiment indicator released on Wednesday was slightly higher than forecasts. Economic sentiment improved by 1.9 points from May, to reach 19.4 in June. Economic expectations also continued the trend seen in the second quarter of this year. The metric reached the highest assessment since February of 2014 and reflected the expectations of economic development in Switzerland over a 6-month horizon. However, despite the optimism no adverse changes are expected for this measurement in the medium-term.



Canada Retail Sales Rise in April

Retail sales in Canada increased in April, rising 0.90% to a seasonally adjusted 44.28 billion CAD, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday. This was larger than analyst expectations of 0.80% to reverse the mirror image -0.80% decline in March. Sales were seen higher in 7 out of the 11 sub sectors with gasoline stations driving most of the gains at a hefty 6.00%. Retail sales excluding gasoline advanced 0.40% though volume was flat.



US Existing Home Sales Rises in May

Existing home sales jumped to their highest levels in nearly a decade, according to data from the US National Association of Realtors. Total existing home sales which include completed transactions grew 1.80% in May to a seasonally adjusted 5.53 million, following April's reading of 5.43 million. On yearly basis, existing home sales are up 4.50% - their highest since February of 2007, driven by demand despite lagging supply.



Norges Bank Interest Rate Decision

The Central Bank of Norway will be meeting today at 08:00 GMT for its monetary policy review. The Norges Bank interest rates are expected to remain unchanged at 0.50%. Economic sentiment has been improving moderately and is closer to the central bank's projections since its last meeting in May. A revised fiscal budget and higher oil prices have posed lower tail risks to the Norwegian economy. In March, the Norges Bank said that there was a 100% probability of a rate cut before the fourth quarter of this year. A press conference follows the decision.


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