The Confederation of British Industry has hailed the rejection of Scottish independence as a "momentous day" as staying within the 307-year old union with England is the best for "jobs, growth and raising living standards."

CBI's director general John Cridland added in a statement that while the referendum has left "scars", the No vote was the best decision.

"This is a momentous day for our United Kingdom and this result will be greeted by a collective sigh of relief across the business community," said John Cridland, director general of CBI.

"Business has always believed that the Union is best for creating jobs, raising growth and improving living standards, and welcomes that the people of Scotland want to play an integral role in this internationally successful partnership.

"As the debate now moves to the question of further devolution, it is important that it does not undermine the strength of the single internal market and it is in the best interests of citizens living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those in Scotland.

"Such a difficult campaign inevitably leaves scars which will take time to heal and we now need politicians, businesses and citizens to unite to achieve a better future for all in the UK. Now is also the time to rebuild relationships outside the UK to reassure international investors and other partners that we will emerge stronger and more confident in the months and years ahead."

Some 55% of Scots rejected independence, while 45% voted No, out of the 31 out of 32 areas declared.

The UK's financial markets are set to breathe a sigh of relief after voters in Scotland rejected independence.

A day's optimistic trading as the referendum voting took place was sparked by the final polls suggesting the 'No' campaign was about to win, a gamble that has paid off.

Overnight as the results came through, sterling rallied against the US dollar and yen, while the FTSE100 is expected to open up 1.2% - and could hit new highs throughout the day.