World stocks headed for one the biggest slumps on record on Friday as a decision by Britain to leave the European Union triggered 8 percent falls for Europe’s biggest bourses and a record plunge for sterling. Such a body blow to global confidence could well prevent the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates as planned this year, and might even provoke a new round of emergency policy easing from all the major central banks. Risk assets were scorched as investors fled to the traditional safe-harbors of top-rated government debt, Japanese yen and gold. Billions were wiped from share values as Europe saw London’s FTSE .FTSE drop 6 percent in early deals, Germany’s .DAX and France’s CAC 40 .FCHI slump 7.5 and 9 percent and Italian and Spanish markets plunge more than 11 percent.
The rout was compounded by the fact markets had rallied on Thursday having become increasingly convinced that UK voters would opt to stay in the EU.
Britain’s big banks took a $130 billion battering with Lloyds (LLOY.L) and Barclays (BARC.L) plunging as much as 30 percent. EMINI S&P 500 futures ESc1 were down 4 percent and Japan’s Nikkei .N225 ended down 7.9 percent.
Full Article: World stocks in freefall as UK votes for EU exit | Reuters.