Opening Bell: The pound rises, Britain votes, John Lewis plans Dublin store

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Polls have opened across the UK in the referendum to decide whether Britain should remain in or leave the European Union.

The first people able to cast their ballot were in Gibraltar where polling stations opened at 6:00am and will close at 9pm.

Across the UK, polls opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

On the ballot paper, voters will be asked: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

A YouGov poll published in The Times (London) shows 51% support a remain vote, while 49% indicate that they want to leave.

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Sterling has hit its highest level of the year as British voters head to the polls in the UK's in/out referendum on EU membership.

The pound has gained 0.9% in overnight trading in Asian markets to $1.4844 against the US dollar before retreating to a 0.6% gain.

Sterling has gained 4% over the past week as investors take their final position ahead of the vote.

In the absence of exit polls, Sterling fluctuations will be watched closely overnight for indications as to how the vote has gone.

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John Lewis, the British department store will enter the Irish market later in this year through a partnership deal with Arnotts.

It will take over two floors of the iconic Dublin store, and will occupy some 2,000 sq ft of retail space.

This is the first major announcement from Arnotts since it was acquired by Selfridges.

Donald McDonald, managing director of Arnotts has indicated that the arrival of more new brands at the store during the next number of months.

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The 11th strike by French Air Traffic Control workers in 2016 is underway.

A number of flights will be affected - Aer Lingus has been forced to cancel six flights, while Ryanair has cancelled 56, including flights between Dublin and Madrid and Carcassonne.

Robin Kiely from Ryanair says these strikes are deliberately timed to upset ordinary holiday-makers:

You can listen to a special Brexit results programme on Newstalk from 10pm tonight until midnight, with coverage continuing through the night via LBC radio London. Live updates will be available on newstalk.com