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It has certainly been a marathon, but what are the chances that it will be one with a sprint finish for a wide range of assets?

As polling day on the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU looms, analysis from Citi contains a range of predictions including one that the yield on 10-year gilts is “likely to move below 1 per cent on a Brexit scenario”.

The bank’s Jamie Searle goes on to warn that market expectations of a series of interest-rate cuts from the Bank of England after such a result might also be misplaced.

“Sterling may be falling so fast that it negates the need to cut,” while over a longer time period, there are further complications.

“A Leave [vote] that triggers sharp [sterling] depreciation could, eventually, require the market to price a greater risk-premium for eventual rate hikes if inflation expectations begin to rise.”

Citi also warns that a significant hit to economic growth could shift attention beyond further rate cuts and toward fresh quantitative easing.

“We don’t think this is priced at all at the moment, despite the flattening of the gilt curve,” it warns.

Any post-referendum policy speculation would also come when investors have started to question the extent to which central banks can influence markets, potentially extending any such volatile run.

Richard Falkenhäll, strategist at SEB, is more confident, predicting “Brexit won’t happen. Expect a substantial reaction in the pound”.


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