LONDON — European stock markets rallied in midmorning trading on Thursday as Britons took to the polls in a landmark referendum that will decide whether they remain part of the European Union.
The FTSE MIB in Milan led the upswing, climbing 2.2 percent to 17,695.49, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, up 2.1 percent to 10,283.09, and the CAC 40 in Paris, which rose 1.9 percent to 4,463.10. The FTSE 100 in London was up 1.6 percent to 6360.59.
The euro traded at $1.13, while the pound equaled $1.47, after hitting a 2016 high of $1.48 overnight. The Swiss franc equaled $1.04 at 11:45 am CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were also on the up, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Yoox Net-a-porter Group, 3.1 percent to 24.16 euros; Tesco, 4.1 percent to 1.73 pounds; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 2.9 percent to 146.85 euros; Carrefour, 2.3 percent to 23.68 euros, and SuperGroup, parent of Superdry, 2.2 percent to 14.77 pounds.
Among the very few stocks to lose ground were Italia Independent Group, 1.5 percent to 11.60 euros, and French Connection, 2.3 percent to 0.38 pounds.
Polls across the U.K. opened today at 7 a.m. and will close at 10 p.m., with the result set to be announced early Friday morning.