UPDATE: 6:15 a.m. EDT — The European Central Bank issued a statement Friday in response to the United Kingdom’s vote Thursday to leave the European Union. The ECB said it was closely monitoring financial markets and “stands ready to provide additional liquidity, if needed, in euro and foreign currencies.”
European markets recovered somewhat from the shock, but were still firmly in negative territory in late morning trade. The FTSE 100 in London was down 4.77 percent, Germany’s DAX was lower by 6.34 percent and the CAC 40 Index in France fell 7.63 percent.
Asian markets that closed in the last couple of hours did so with a loss as well. Chinese markets fared better than most, with the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite indexes losing 1.3 percent and 0.76 percent respectively. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closed 2.92 percent lower, having made up some of its earlier losses. The S&P BSE Sensex in India climbed back up from its opening lows to close 2.39 percent lower, while the Straits Times Index in Singapore ended the day 2.09 percent lower.
Stock index futures in the U.S. were still indicating a weak opening at 6 a.m. EDT. Dow Jones futures were down 2.91 percent, S&P 500 futures were lower by 3.72 percent and Nasdaq futures were trading weaker by 3.65 percent.
UPDATE: 5:30 a.m. EDT — Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co., which had said three weeks ago it could move some of its 16,000 U.K. jobs to continental Europe in case of the country left the EU, made similar comments Friday, after the results for Britain's EU referendum were announced.
In a note to staff, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said Friday that in the coming months, "we may need to make changes to our European legal entity structure and the location of some roles. While these changes are not certain, we have to be prepared to comply with new laws as we serve our clients around the world."
Also Friday, Frankfurt in Germany began a new push to dislodge London as the financial capital of Europe. Frankfurt Main Finance, a lobby group, started a special hotline for banks that were considering moving their operations outside the U.K., the Wall Street Journal reported. The organization plans to hold roadshows in London and some other cities.
Hubertus Väth, managing director of the group, told the Journal: "The welcome banner is hung and Frankfurt’s doors are wide open."
UPDATE: 4:55 a.m. EDT — Rating agency S&P said Friday that the United Kingdom will lose its AAA rating following the vote to leave the EU, given the political, financial and economic risks. Moritz Kraemer, chief ratings officer for S&P, told the Financial Times: "We think that a AAA-rating is untenable under the circumstances."
Other ratings agencies, Fitch and Moody's, have already taken away the U.K.'s AAA rating, even before the EU referendum campaign began in the country.
Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, an international financial consultancy, told International Business Times in a statement: "Although the impact of Britain leaving the EU will create huge short-term uncertainty across global markets, this is not the start of an Armageddon-style scenario. The world as we know it will not stop."
UPDATE: 4 a.m. EDT — Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told BBC Friday that "economic volatility can be expected" after U.K.’s vote Thursday to leave the European Union. Earlier, the country's central bank had said on Twitter that it was undertaking "extensive contingency planning."
Meanwhile, the London Stock Exchange recovered from its initial lows, halting its opening slide. After about 45 minutes of trade, the FTSE 100 was less than 5 percent lower. At the same time, the DAX Index in Germany climbed somewhat as well, to less than 7 percent down but France's CAC 40, while not its low point, was still about 8.25 percent down.
UPDATE: 3:30 a.m. EDT — In less than half hour of opening, the FTSE 100 Index in London fell from 1.4 percent lower to about 8 percent down. The DAX Index in Germany also fell on opening by over 10 percent, but recovered somewhat to 8.5 percent lower over the next half hour, while the CAC 40 in France opened about 7.5 percent lower and fell further to about 8.5 percent lower in 30 minutes.
At 3:20 a.m. EDT, U.S. index futures had recovered somewhat. The Dow Jones futures were lower by 2.82 percent, S&P 500 futures fell 3.73 percent and Nasdaq futures were down by 3.83 percent.
As world leaders digest and react to the news Friday of the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, the reaction from global stock and currency markets has been swift and unanimous: a big thumbs down.
Britain’s own currency has suffered drastically in the last few hours, falling at one point to a 31-year low of below $1.33 to a pound. The close to 11 percent fall in the British pound is its biggest single-day fall against the dollar. At about 2:30 a.m. EDT, however, it had recovered slightly, and was trading above $1.36. Since its peak of above $1.47 at the beginning of the year, the pound hit its high of 2016 on Thursday when it was trading at just under $1.49.
Reacting to the Brexit vote and its economic impact, the Bank of England said on Twitter that it was “monitoring developments closely” and undertaking “extensive contingency planning, working closely with” the U.K. Treasury, “other domestic authorities & overseas central banks.”
The pound’s fall was the yen’s unwanted gain, which dipped below the 100 mark against the dollar for the first time since 2013. Despite a clamor for the safe haven currency, triggered by Brexit, the yen had weakened somewhat again at 2:30 a.m. EDT, and was trading above 102 to the dollar. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday he was watching the currency movement and would take action against it if necessary. A strong yen is bad for Japanese exports, and the currency has already gained close to 15 percent against the dollar since the start of 2016.
The common currency of continental Europe, the euro, also fell against the dollar, losing 3.2 percent at 2:30 a.m. EDT, trading just above $1.10. But it made solid gains against the British pound, up by more than 5 percent.
Stock markets, however, were uniformly lower the world over Friday. The FTSE 100 in London opened lower by about 1.4 percent, but fell by 1.7 percent within minutes. Futures trading in Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were both lower by 9.8 percent and 11.2 percent during early morning trade, respectively.
The Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closed almost 8 percent lower, affected in no small part by the stronger yen. The Kospi Index in South Korea fell 3.09 percent Friday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down by over 4.4 percent in afternoon trade. On mainland China, markets fared better but were still in the red. The Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite indexes were lower by 1.2 percent and 0.18 percent, respectively, during late afternoon trade.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index in Australia closed 3.17 lower, India’s S&P BSE Sensex was down by 4 percent in early afternoon trade, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore was trading 2.05 percent lower in the afternoon.
If the index futures are any indication to go by, the turmoil is expected to continue in U.S. markets as well. At 2:45 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were down 3.34 percent, S&P 500 futures were 4.48 percent lower and Nasdaq futures fell 4.42 percent.