Britain’s unprecedented vote to exit the E.U. has stunned investors, pushing global markets and currencies into free fall.
From Europe to Asia to the United States, financial markets are showing panic over the so-called Brexit vote and the ensuing market uncertainty and volatility that it could unleash.
Britain’s FTSE 100, the country’s blue chip stock index plummeted as much as 8.7 percent before clawing back to a loss of 4.9 percent when the London stock exchange opened Friday after the vote to leave the bloc. The FTSE 250 plunged even further, by 12.3 percent, before recovering slightly to 7.1 percent.
The referendum vote also prompted Prime Minister David Cameron, who had campaigned for the United Kingdom to remain in the EU, to announce his resignation.
On the currency front, the British pound sterling took a nose dive to its weakest level in 31 years, as investors fled risky assets for the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen.
The euro, the single currency shared by 19 of the EU member states, fell 2.89 percent against the dollar.
In stock markets across the English Channel, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 7.34 percent. France’s CAC index dropped to 8.6 percent. Germany’s DAX slid as much as 10 percent before recovering slightly to 7.04 percent. Spain’s IBEX 35 tanked to 12.39 percent.Asia
Investors reacted in Asia as well.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw its worst day since March 2011. The Japanese stock index ended down 7.92 percent today. The Japanese yen, however, strengthened as much as 7.2 percent against the dollar for the first time since November 2013.
On mainland China, the Shanghai composite slid 1.22 percent while the Shenzhen composite fell 0.76 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended down 2.92 percent. The offshore yuan, traded in Hong Kong, slid 0.8 percent against the dollar, while the onshore currency traded in Shanghai weakened 0.5 percent.
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi tumbled 3.09 percent. The Korean won shed 2.5 percent against the dollar.