While other Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on Thursday (23 June), the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.50% at 2,890.95 as of 6am GMT, just hours ahead of the EU referendum vote, reflecting investors' Brexit concerns.
Two opinion polls published late on 22 June indicated that the 'remain' campaign had a slight edge. Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG, said: "Markets seem to have almost entirely priced in a 'remain' vote win, meaning that the market moves and volatility around the vote may be far less than many had expected."
Nicholson, however, asked investors to exercise caution, adding the markets were "still incredibly nervous and some sharp market moves are likely over the next 24 hours".
Investors are largely said to be remaining on the sidelines amid the uncertainty. A Bank of America Merill Lynch fund manager poll conducted last week revealed that the cash investors were sitting on was at the highest level since November 2001. Shin Kadota, chief Japan FX strategist at Barclays in Tokyo, said: "It will be hard for the market to move until the poll results are released."
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 23 June at 6.09am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,880.13||Up||0.41%|
Overnight (22 June), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,780.83, down 0.27%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,261.19, up 0.56%.
Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the green. While WTI crude oil was trading 0.85% higher at $49.55 (£33.55, €43.70) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.84% higher at $50.30 a barrel at 6.18am GMT.