The world's biggest banks including Citi and Goldman Sachs will draft in senior traders to work through the night following Britain's referendum on EU membership, set to be among the most volatile 24 hours for markets in a quarter of a century. David Pollard reports.
The witching hours of June 23rd ... ones to remember ... ones to set pulses racing. Not least of all for traders of the world's major banks. Drafted in on - Brexit watch. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: Markets worry about event risk. They anticipate that there will be bad news for the global economy, and with the global economy already fragile, Brexit could be a particularly unpleasant pill to swallow. If not a lethal one, according to some worried investors. The future of the 2.9 trillion dollars British economy seemingly at stake - markets bracing for the most volatile trading in decades. UK bond yields have already hit record lows. Global stock markets are wobbling - European banking shares in a four-year trough. And a tumbling UK sterling could drop to 1 dollar 30 or below if Britain votes to leave - on London's 5.3 trillion dollars-a-day forex markets. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: We've already seen volatility in sterling ramp high to levels beyond 2008, the height of the financial crisis ... We could still see a dramatic drop in sterling if there was a Brexit next week. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: The bias is for downward drift in equities. Depending on how the polls go again, that downward drift could become a sudden drop. From Citi to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche to JPMorgan - most of the big names are bringing in their top traders overnight. Some laying on special catering - even hotel beds. Though after the polls close on Thursday, it promises to be a sleepless few hours until Britain wakes to its referendum result on Friday morning.