Business News

Sensex closes 600 points down after Brexit vote

International markets have also taken a beating, while the pound dropped to a 31-year low and was expected to suffer its biggest one-day loss in history.

Indian markets

The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex opened 940 points down on Friday morning while the United Kingdom voted whether Britain would stay with the European Union, and fell further – more than 1,000 points – after 10 am. India’s Nifty was also down 300 points, while the rupee fell 74 paise against the dollar in early trade on Friday. As Britain voted for its exit from EU, or Brexit as it has come to be known, global markets plummeted.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in a statement, said the government was prepared for the short and medium-term consequences of Brexit. "All countries around the world will have to brace themselves for a period of possible turbulence while being watchful about, and alert to, the referendum’s medium term impacts," he said. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan also said the apex bank was watching markets closely, and will provide liquidity and intervene in currency markets if required, PTI reported.

The Reserve Bank of India intervened in the forex market on Friday with liquidity support, PTI reported. Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said the Centre and RBI are ready with measures to curb market volatility.

The Sensex recovered only slightly by evening, closing at 604 points down at 26,397.71, while Nifty crawled back up past the 8,000 mark. The rupee recovered slightly from the day's low of 68.22 and was trading at 67.84.

At the end of the day, gold prices climbed to beyond Rs 32,000 per 10 gram, up by Rs 1,944 in the futures trade. With this, the price of the yellow metal touched a two-year high. Market analysts said this was because gold prices are valued against the dollar. After rupee took a beating earlier in the day, the precious metal was considered a safer haven investment.

International markets

The UK’s currency, the pound sterling, dropped to as low as $1.3229, its lowest since 1985, and is on course for its biggest one-day loss in history. Though the pound closed on a high after voting on Thursday night, following trends that showed a Brexit, the FTSE 100 futures traded nearly 9% lower, suggesting a collapse in UK stock markets. Reports suggested the UK's economy might slip into a recession following the Brexit.

The Bank of England has said it is ready to provide £250 billion to Britain's economy, if necessary. Oil prices have plunged 4.8%, gold is up 4.9%. HSBC, which earlier this year opted to keep its headquarters in London, plunged as much as 12% in Asian trading, Livemint reported. Shares of companies with a large portion of its business in the UK or Europe will be under pressure on Friday.

The Nikkei index in Japan has dropped 8%, and Hong Kong's stock exchange sank 4.4$, while Wall Street is also expected to be hit by Brexit results. European markets have also taken a beating – German stocks plummeted 9.94%, Paris' 8%, and Vienna's 10% on opening race after Brexit. London's stock exchange dropped 7.4% on opening, reported AFP. The Australian dollar is down 3.4%, South Korea's won sank 2.4%, the Indonesia rupiah 1.7%, and Malaysia's ringgit 2.7%. The Canadian and Singapore dollars have also incurred losses.
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