Brexit fallout: London stocks plunge in opening deals

Traders in London's Canary Wharf financial centre wait for European stock markets to open early June 24, 2016.
Traders in London's Canary Wharf financial centre wait for European stock markets to open early June 24, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - London stocks plunged around eight per cent in opening deals Friday, with share prices of banks and housebuilders collapsing by about a third after Britain voted to leave the EU.

The British capital's FTSE 100 index shed 7.7 per cent to 5,851.01 points shortly after the start of trading, with housebuilder Taylor Wimpey losing 32 per cent, and Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland each shedding roughly 28 per cent.

Shares in the London Stock Exchange Group fell as much as 15.9 per cent.

Inside the euro zone, the Paris stock market is expected to see a similar drop, while Frankfurt shares are likely to fare only slightly better, with expectations for a 6 per cent fall of the German DAX index.

 

Euro STOXX bank futures slumped more than 17 per cent, putting them on track for their biggest ever one-day percentage drop. The Euro STOXX auto futures also fell about 13 per cent on concerns that the sector would be hit hard on growth concerns following the outcome of the referendum.

European banks are set to open sharply lower, with Deutsche Bank seen opening 18 per cent lower.

Shares in Standard Chartered and HSBC listed in Hong Kong were down around 9 per cent by 3 p.m. Singapore time.

In Asian markets, the pound collapsed to a 31-year low against the US dollar, while the yen surged against the US currency as investors fled to safety.

In the weeks leading up to Thursday's historic vote, there had been widespread warnings that a vote to leave would cause a rout across global markets that would wipe trillions off valuations, just months after a painful China-fuelled sell-off.

Investors were clearly wrong-footed by the vote outcome. Stock markets and the pound had climbed steadily in the week ahead of Thursday's referendum on expectations that Britons would reject Brexit.