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Social Media Buzz Is A Potential Leading Indicator For The Brexit Vote

Social Media Buzz Is A Potential Leading Indicator For The Brexit Vote

The latest data from TickerTags concerning social media chatter about Britain’s upcoming “Brexit” vote on June 23 could be the best indication of how the general public feels heading into the referendum.

TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.

Investors have grown nervous about the Brexit vote, which could have major negative implications for stocks. British financial ADRs, such as Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE: RBS), Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE: BCS) and Prudential Public Limited Company (ADR) (NYSE: PUK) could be hit particularly hard if voters choose Brexit. All three stocks are already down more than 20 percent in 2016 in anticipation of the vote.

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While many Brexit polls are too close to call, social media data has consistently shown the public leaning toward a vote to leave the EU.

In March and April, organic social media mentions of “Brexit” + “leave” were consistently 24-39 percent higher than mentions of “Brexit” + “remain.” In the past month, the gap has narrowed to the single digits.

On Monday, the hash tag #VoteLeave trended worldwide on Twitter. The corresponding spike in social media mentions was 2101 percent higher than the number of mentions of “VoteStay” and “Vote Stay” combined.

Despite the apparent social media momentum behind a Brexit, Bloomberg’s Brexit Likelihood Score still places the chance of a Brexit at only 24 percent.

Disclosure: the author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.


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