U.S. stocks fluctuated with the pound ahead of Thursday’s vote on whether the U.K. will leave the European Union or stay, while Treasuries halted the longest slide since April.
The S&P 500 swung from gains to losses, while European shares edged higher as fresh polls showed voters may elect to leave the EU while bookmakers’ odds still implied a one-in-four chance that happens. Treasury yields fell from a two-week high after investors bought $46 billion of debt from auctions. Crude fell after U.S. inventories dropped less than forecast. Oil slid below $49 a barrel.
“I expect today’s trading to look much like yesterday’s in that it may have a positive bias, but I can’t envision a scenario where the markets will rally significantly,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Philadelphia-based Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, which manages $54 billion. “If the referendum ends up leaning towards a Brexit, those holding riskier assets would be caught.”
The pound rose 0.1 percent to $1.4659, after advancing as much as 0.8 percent to the highest level since Dec. 30. A new poll on the EU referendum conducted by Opinium showed 45 percent opting to leave and 44 percent to remain.