Investing.com - Wall Street futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday as markets appeared to rule out the possibility of a Brexit, or a vote for Britain to leave the European Union (EU), as polling took place in the U.K.
The blue-chip Dow futures gained 165 points, or 0.93%, by 10:57AM GMT, or 6:57AM ET, the S&P 500 futures rose 21 points, or 0.99%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 45 points, or 1.05%.
Polling on the EU referendum began in the U.K. at 6:00AM GMT, or 2:00AM ET, on Thursday with the voting stations open until 21:00GMT, or 17:00ET, with final results not expected until early Friday.
Opinion polls released on June 22 showed a fairly tight potential outcome. A YouGov poll online came in at 51% remain to 49% leave; a ComRes/ITN poll by phone showed at 48% remain and 42% leave with 10% undecided; a TNS poll showed 41% for remain and 43% to leave with 16% undecided and an Opinium poll showed 44% in the remain camp with 45% for leave and 11% undecided.
On Thursday, an Ipsos Mori poll revealed the Remain camp taking back the lead with 52% in favor of keeping EU membership and 48% preferring a Brexit. That compared the surveyor's June 14 poll that had shown Leave in the lead with 49% and Remain with only 43%.
Though polls remained too close to call, markets appeared to be paying more attention to betting odds with online betting firm Betfair showing an 86% probability that the U.K. would stay in the EU.
Sterling continued its rally against the dollar on Thursday, passing $1.49 for the first time since December, while the FTSE 100 rose to a two-month high.
Stateside, traders looked ahead to a number of U.S. data points due Thursday morning.
Weekly jobless claims are expected to fall to 270,000 from the prior week's 277,000, according to market analysts. New home sales are seen declining by 8.7% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000, following a sharp jump the prior month to the highest level in more than eight years. Markit's preliminary U.S. manufacturing PMI is also scheduled for Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, oil prices pushed higher on Thursday, as appetite for riskier assets improved.
U.S. crude futures gained 1.30% to $49.77 by 10:59AM GMT, or 6:59AM ET, while Brent oil traded up 1.52% to $50.64.
In company news, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR ) rose 1% in the pre-market after news that it would soon announce more deals to stream live events after successful advertising demand from NFL games it plans to air this season.
Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) sunk almost 3% in the pre-market after flat sales in the first quarter caused it to miss consensus.
H B Fuller Company (NYSE:FUL) had fallen 2.6% in the after-hours market after reporting disappointing earnings.
Blackberry (TO:BB) and Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) were among companies on tap to report before the bell, with Sonic Corp (NASDAQ:SONC) and Synnex Corporation (NYSE:SNX) to release results after the close.
Elsewhere, European stock markets gained broadly, hovering at two-week highs, as investors bet the U.K. will vote to remain in the European Union in the closely watched Brexit referendum.
Earlier, Asian markets closed mixed in cautious trade, as investors remained on edge ahead of the U.K. vote on whether to leave the European Union.
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