Globe

Stock markets will probably react negatively to the increasingly uncertain place of Scotland within the UK, according to Chief Investment Officer Haig Bathgate.

Already the pound has fallen overnight after a YouGov poll gave the lead to the pro-independence side for the first time in the Scottish referendum due to take place on 18th September. Stocks will also probably react, with those of companies with large businesses in Scotland or banks such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland most susceptible.

The increasing anxiety in markets mirrors what happened in Quebec in 1995 when a poll on independence there sent the value of the Canadian dollar and the country's bonds lower. While a reduction in the value of the pound might on the surface appear beneficial to exporters who've been suffering from the strength of sterling, any reduction will need to be long-term and sustainable in order to help increase international sales. And any relief from the lower currency may be overshadowed by the travails in continental Europe, where a sluggish economy is dampening demand for UK goods in Britain's biggest export market.

Haig, speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland, also commented in advance on earnings at retailers Morrisons and Next.

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