The pound appreciated over 1 percent against the US dollar on Thursday, rising from around $1.48 per pound to over $1.49 per pound and reaching $1.485 per pound by 14:00 GMT. The rally took the UK currency out of its slump that started in mid-2014 and saw the pound fall from a multiyear peak of over $1.7 per pound to less than $1.4 per pound by early 2016.
The pound also rallied against the euro, increasing almost 1 percent before somewhat sliding to an overall increase of 0.25 percent, to settle on 1.3 euros per pound.
The rally came about after public surveys showed prevailing support for the United Kingdom staying in the European Union. The latest poll by Ipsos MORI indicated that 52 percent of UK nationals support remaining within the European bloc, while 48 percent are against such a scenario. A Populus poll said that 55 percent of respondents intended voting to stay, while the Financial Times poll tracker, which aggregates a range of surveys, on Thursday, showed a 2-percentage-point lead for EU membership supporters.
Polling stations across the United Kingdom stay open from 7:00 a.m. (06:00 GMT) through 10:00 p.m. (21:00 GMT) local time. There is no threshold for turnout, and there will be no exit polls.
Brexit supporters argue that EU membership has diminished the country’s independence to legislate, direct its economy and control its borders. Opponents warn that leaving the bloc could severely harm the UK economy.