Stock Market Today: Pound Gains as Scots Vote on Independence

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were indicating a higher open on Thursday, building upon the record gains of the prior session after the Federal Reserve pledged to hold down interest rates and after China's central bank cut short-term borrowing costs for banks.

The global markets were also keenly focused on developments in Scotland, where polling stations are open to take votes from potentially more than 4.2 million people on whether Scotland should remain in the United Kingdom or breakaway as an independent country. The polling places are expected to close at 10 p.m. Edinburgh, Scotland, time or 5 p.m. EDT.

TheStreet's Ruben Ramirez has more on what Scotland's independence could mean to economic activity in the region:

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Read More: September 18 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

The vote is expected to be a close one, with numerous economic and political implications. According to USA Today, Scottish independence would take with it "one-third of the United Kingdom's land mass, 8% of its population, about 10% of its tax revenue, and an incalculable amount of cultural and intellectual capital."

As the world watched the referendum closely, the British pound gained 0.56% against the U.S. dollar. The euro was up 0.08% vs. the greenback. Overall, the U.S. dollar index was down 0.09% against a basket of major currencies including the euro and pound.

The FTSE 100 in the U.K. was up 0.37%.

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