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And, finally, the UK’s referendum on EU membership is upon us.
Let’s say the UK bookies are correct and Brits will vote, just, to Remain. That removes a big risk event hanging over the market, boosting bullish sentiment, optimists may argue.
Not so fast warn some analysts. “The outcome is not binary, in our view,” Citi economists said in a note. “A solid majority to stay would reduce uncertainty most, whereas a ‘close Remain’ (our base case) could still undermine UK/EU political stability.”
The rancour in Westminster will not vanish. Populist secessionist movements in Europe have been energised.
This has negative implications for governments’ ability to deliver — should they decide to — any fiscal boosts to help the region’s economy.
Which probably means more heavy lifting to be done by the European Central Bank, whose negative interest rate policy is rattling the financial sector.
Currency strategists at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ also say that the “initial euphoria of a vote to remain may not prove very lasting”.
“The markets will quickly shift focus to other key global issues — in particular the US elections and the continued slowdown in global growth.”
Not forgetting the microeconomic fundamentals — the US second-quarter earnings season will start in a few weeks’ time as the correlation between S&P 500 members is near a two-year low. At least that’s good news for patient stock pickers.