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Pound Paying the Price of U.K.'s 'Brexit' Debate

Pound sinks, stocks slide, and oil falls. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Sterling sinks

The British pound traded below $1.39 this morning as pressure on the currency continued, with analysts looking to levels not seen since 1985 if the U.K. votes to leave the European Union in the referendum in June. As volatility increases, options market pricing suggests the currency is set to fall further against all of its G-10 counterparts in the next six months. Sterling was trading at $1.3894 at 10:54 a.m. in London.

Stocks fall

Markets in Asia dropped overnight with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipping 0.9 percent and Japan's Topix dropping 0.5 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.9 percent while Chinese stocks trading in Hong Kong slid 1.3 percent as the yuan fell 0.13 percent to 6.5352 per U.S. dollar. European shares fell 2.1 percent at 11.10 a.m. London time, with miners posting the worst performance. S&P 500 futures were 0.7 percent lower

Oil slides

Oil is extending its decline, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for April delivery losing 96 cents to $30.91 at 11:20 a.m. London time. The drop comes as the tentative agreement to freeze oil production seems to be unraveling. Bloomberg’s new animated web series Sooner Than You Think takes a look at the longer-term prospects for oil and suggests that another crude crash is coming, from which there will be no recovery.

Bonds rise

To complete this morning's risk-off market picture, prices of "safe haven" sovereign debt are rising. German debt, which has had an average yield below zero for the last few weeks is seeing more flattening of its yield curve as the 30-year rallies for a fifth day. U.S. government bonds are rising for a second day with 10-year note yields falling three basis points, or 0.03 percentage points, to 1.70 percent as of 11:07 a.m. London time, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data.

Trump triumphs

Donald Trump's bid to become the Republican nominee for the U.S. presidential election got another boost following his decisive win in the Nevada caucuses yesterday. With less than a week to go until Super Tuesday, stopping Trump's momentum is becoming a priority for Republicans who would prefer a less polarizing candidate.

What we've been reading 

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

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