A relief rally looked ready to take hold in the UK as Scottish voters opted to remain part of the United Kingdom overnight.
Brenda Kelly, chief market strategist at IG Markets in London, said they were expecting an increased volume of trade today. "The polls were right and the economic risk has receded. We may see a pop higher in gilt yields today. We saw the pound recover substantially but a little profit taking is slipping in." She said there was a moment during the night when weakness in sterling began to appear when a big 'yes' vote came through from certain parts. "However, the final poll from YouGov at about half ten last night cemented the view that it would be a 'no' vote."
Brenda Kelly said there might be the possibility of some volatility in sterling in the medium term as more powers are devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but she said the over-riding sentiment on markets would be relief that the UK has not been fragmented.
Paul Sommerville, of Sommerville Advisory Markets, said the markets never believed there would be a 'yes' vote in the Scottish referendum. "There was a slight wobble a week and a half ago for around 24 hours but the market had priced in a 'no' vote. We're expecting the FTSE to open higher. Stocks like Lloyds and Standard Life will do very well."
Elsewhere, Mr Sommerville said markets were liking what they were hearing from the US at the moment despite the fact that the Federal Reserve had indicated that the flow of cheap money would be coming to an end next month. "What the Fed is saying is that the economy is so weak that they won't be putting up rates any time soon. We expect to see more euphoria on the markets today when the Alibaba stock floats after the biggest IPO in history. They deliberately underpriced the shares at $68. We could see them rise by at least 20% today," he said.
MORNING BRIEFS - The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange today. The company priced shares in its initial offering at $68 a share after last night's market close, raising nearly $22 billion on a valuation of $168 billion - that is more than the value of Twitter, LinkedIn and Ebay combined. The IPO will mint a number of new Chinese billionaires; while it will also net a tidy sum for Yahoo, which is a big shareholder, and has agreed to sell down some of its shares as part of an agreement with Alibaba.
*** Apple's long-awaited iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are out today in the US, the UK, Germany, Japan among other countries.
Customers bought four million phones on the first day pre-orders were available, setting a pace to beat Apple's record of nine million iPhone sales in an opening weekend.
*** Larry Ellison, the CEO and co-founder of software giant Oracle, is stepping down after 37 years at the helm of his company. He is estimated to be the world's fifth wealthiest man with a fortune of around $51 billion. He founded Oracle in 1977 with Bob Miner and Ed Oates, contributed $1,200 of his own money. He Is staying on as chairman and chief technology officer.
*** Today is E-day - businesses are being reminded that from today public sector bodies will stop sending and receiving cheques to and from businesses. SMEs are still the biggest users of cheques in Ireland and all enterprises are being asked to review the way they transact payments and to look at cards and e payments as more efficient alternatives. Cheque usage is declining here but still a massive 61 million cheques will have been sent in Ireland this year.