London-listed shares have fallen for the fourth straight session after two polls showed the campaign for Britain to leave the EU had widened its lead over the IN campaign. As Ivor Bennett reoports, the yield on the 10-year German Bund has also fallen below zero for the first time as Brexit worries sent investors rushing for safe-haven assets.
It's not the most shocking headline you'll ever see A euro-sceptic tabloid coming out in favour of Brexit. But with 1.7 million readers, The Sun is Britain's biggest selling paper. And if this wasn't a wake up call for markets, polls were. Sterling falling 1 percent against the dollar after a series of surveys put the 'leave' camp firmly ahead. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES BEVAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA, SAYING: "There are very few people at the moment who actively want to support the pound. If you were to say to me 'where would the pound reasonably settle in the event that there is a leave vote?', I would say a dollar twenty." At the moment it's around the 1.41 mark but volatility is at a 20-year high. The prospect of a Brexit seen as more damaging then, than the Lehman Brothers collapse. The jitters go well beyond Britain's borders though. World stocks slid for a fourth straight day on publication of the polls. European stocks to a three-month low. Commodities in particular took a battering - oil falling back below 50 dollars. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES BEVAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA, SAYING: "They anticipate that there would be bad news for the global economy. And of course, with the global economy already fragile, Brexit could be a particularly unpleasant pill to swallow." Particularly unpleasant perhaps for Japan, where the safe haven yen has hit a three year peak. Perhaps the best illustration of the uncertainty, though, is the German bond market. 10 year yields dipping below zero for the first time ever which means investors are happy to give money to the German government for a decade but get back less than what they put in. Though it'll be Britain voting on June 23rd, it'll be the world who are watching.