Stock markets and pound plunge on 'Black Friday' as Britain votes for Brexit

Kyle Caldwell
24 June 2016

Both the FTSE 100 and the pound have fallen dramatically in early trading on the back of Britain voting to leave the European Union. Financial markets are in freefall in early trading, following the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union.

Panicked investors dumped shares in their droves, with the FTSE 100 down 6.6%, or 420 points, to trade just above 5900 at 8.30am.

Bank and housebuilder shares were the biggest losers, in what is already being described as a 'Black Friday' for stock markets.

Barclays and RBS were down about 30%, while Bovis Homes and Bellway had fallen 56% and 36%, respectively.

The pound plummeted overnight as it became clearer that the 'leave' campaign was likely to emerge victorious.

At one point it hit $1.3305, a fall of more than 10%. This represents a low not seen since 1985. At 8.30am the pound was down 8.3%, to trade at $1.36350.

The 'leave' campaign won by 52% to 48%, with the majority of regions across England and Wales voting for a Brexit.

In the wake of the result David Cameron has announced he will step down as prime minister in October.

European markets have also plunged, both the French Cac and German Dax are down 9.7% and 8.1%, respectively.

Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor, said market carnage has been pronounced due to the fact that the market had priced in a remain victory. “Global markets are in turmoil in the aftermath of the surprise UK ‘leave’ vote.


“Having spent all of the last week gearing up and going up in anticipation of a ‘remain’ vote, the carnage is even more pronounced in the currency, equity and bond markets as analysts and investors struggle to work out what fair value is.

“This leap into the unknown leaves a huge number of economic and political questions unanswered for both the UK and the wider European Union and this is adding to the uncertainty for investors. Will the immediate market moves be overdone, or is this the start of a protracted fall for both sterling and equity markets?”

This story was originally written for our sister website, Money Observer.

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