The Latest: UK markets rally as investors bet on ‘remain’

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(AP) — The Latest on Britain’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

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The British pound and stock markets are rallying in morning trading in Europe, an indication that investors are betting that Britain is more likely to vote to “remain” in the European Union.

The pound was up 1.1 percent on the day, at $1.4874, the highest level so far this year. Britain’s benchmark stock index, the FTSE 100, was up 1.6 percent at 6,362. Germany’s DAX was up 2.2 percent at 10,297.

Experts say that an exit from the EU would hurt the pound as well as global stock markets, at least in the short term.

While exit polls are not allowed to be published during Thursday’s vote, which closes at 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) some financial companies have reportedly commissioned private exit polling services to help guide their trading.

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10:30 a.m.

Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper has an offer for the British: stay in the European Union and we’ll stop making jokes about Prince Charles’ ears and reserve you places by the hotel pool in the morning.

The mass-circulation Bild daily dipped into decades of clichés about British-German relations for its front page Thursday, headlined “Dear Britons, if you stay in the EU …”

Among the offers: “We won’t use any sun cream at the beach any more — out of solidarity with your sunburn!” And “we’ll push through an EU directive banning foam on beer!”

Topping the list was an offer that would stick in any Germany soccer fan’s throat: “Even we will recognize the Wembley goal!” That’s a reference to England’s third goal in its 1966 World Cup final victory, which Germans maintain didn’t cross the goal line.

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9:05 a.m.

Voters in parts of Britain are facing floods and torrential downpours as they cast their ballots in a referendum on whether or not to remain in the European Union.

The capital, London, is expecting a month’s rainfall in a few hours Thursday. Overnight thunderstorms flooded some streets, homes and businesses. Commuters also suffered disruptions.

London’s Fire Brigade says it received hundreds of calls related to the weather, including reports of lightning strikes and rising water that trapped vehicles.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings and 22 flood alerts across the southeastern part of the country.

Sunny weather is predicted for much of the rest of the country.

Pollsters say turnout will be a critical factor in the vote. A large turnout will favor the “remain” campaign as those who waver at the end tend to go for the status quo.

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9 a.m.

Prime Minister David Cameron has cast his ballot in the referendum on whether or not Britain will remain in the European Union.

The Conservative leader had headed the campaign to have Britain stay in the 28-nation bloc.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, also cast his ballot in the referendum, which is considered historic because it will have an impact on generations to come.

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7:15 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there will be a big impact on the global economy if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

“It would be a very big shock, there is no doubt about that. … There will be obviously be great efforts to ensure that the consequences of that shock are minimized,” Turnbull told reporters.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters it is in Australia’s “national interest for a strong Britain, an indispensable friend and ally of ours, to remain within the European Union.”

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7 a.m.

Polls have opened in Britain for a referendum on whether the country should quit the European Union bloc it joined 43 years ago.

More than 46 million people are registered to vote in Thursday’s plebiscite, which asks: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

Polls are open until 10 p.m. (2100GMT), with results due early Friday.

The referendum has exposed deep divisions over issues including sovereignty and national identity.

“Leave” campaigners claim that only a British exit can restore power to Parliament and control immigration. The “remain” campaign led by Prime Minister David Cameron argues that Britain is safer and richer inside the 28-nation EU.

Financial markets have been volatile ahead of the vote, as opinion polls suggested a tight race.