Those big money bets in the lead-up to yesterday’s vote look to have been rather premature as the last few opinion polls appear to have underestimated the extent of voter dissatisfaction with the status quo.
The highest voter turnout since 1992 suggests that while voters have engaged anew with the political process they have passed their verdict on their political overlords and while it hasn’t been unequivocal it has clearly shown that for all the economic warnings voters in the UK were not swayed by the hyperbole and seemed determined to send a message to the so called establishment.
The message is being heard loud and clear by financial markets and how authorities respond in the coming hours is likely to determine what happens next.
As early results came in the pound and equity market futures have plunged with the pound posting a six month high and low in the space of 4 hours and then going onto post its lowest level since 1985 below 1.3500 as we look to push down towards the $1.3000 level.
The lack of liquidity in Asia markets is certainly compounding the falls overnight largely down to the shrinkage in the investment banking sector in the last few years as fewer players means less turnover.
Sterling one month volatility has shot back above last week’s peaks as investors scramble around having been caught out on the wrong side as they foolishly did the equivalent of putting all their chips on a binary outcome.
The FTSE100 looks set to open down 468 points from its overnight close at 6,338 at 5,870 as markets around the world weigh up the consequences of a vote that looks set to ripple across the EU and the world.
Banking stocks are likely to be a particular concern given the weakness of the banking sector in Europe and the linkages between the UK and Europe.
Gold has surged back to $1,300 an ounce, as investors weigh up the prospects of what might happen with respect to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s job prospects.
Important questions also need to be asked about the tone of the campaign and the sheer negativity of the “Remain” campaign that may have turned off an awful lot of voters.
Attention will now turn to what happens next given that this referendum is not legally binding, though it would be a brave politician who ignored its outcome.
This vote also has huge consequences for the future of the EU as well as the economic recovery seen in the last six months, given the widespread dissatisfaction across Europe, and the prospect of other countries asking for similar referendums.
While European markets look set to open sharply lower, so do US markets with the S&P500 futures down 88 from last nights close at 2,113 at 2,025.
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