Listen to this article
Britain’s decision to vote for Brexit is punishing the pound, hitting equities and sending investors into US government bonds and gold.
Global markets had rallied sharply in the run-up to polling day on expectations the UK electorate would vote to stay. That is amplifying the reaction in early trading on Friday.
Here’s a selection of how investors, traders and analysts are reacting:
Mohamed El-Erian, adviser to Allianz and former co-chief executive of bond manager Pimco
With markets having wrongly bet on a Remain win in the past few days, and with patchy liquidity sure to amplify price movements, there will be severe pain for levered long investors and, potentially, opportunities for cash rich ones
Artificially-elevated financial markets were at the risk of either a policy disruption or a market accident. Brexit could well turn these two risks into reality.
Analysts at UBS
Anticipation of further QE, intense domestic safe-haven demand, and lower nominal growth expectations are likely to compress Gilt yields, more than offsetting any upward pressure on yields from possible negative ratings action, higher government borrowing, and a drop in overseas investor demand.
Sterling has already fallen in response to the Leave vote, we have estimated previously that in the near-term it could trade to the 0.84-0.89 range. From a longer term perspective, we think sterling could head towards parity against the euro and 1.20 against the US dollar.
We see the odds of a UK recession within the next 12 months as now 60 per cent. We pencil in year-end targets for GBPUSD of 1.20 and 0.50 per cent lows in 10-year gilts, and shift the next Fed hike to June 2017, with a 30 per cent chance of a rate cut but only if downside risks materialise, with these forecasts remaining fluid.
The outcome clearly creates considerable short-term uncertainty which is likely to weigh on the UK economy in the coming quarters.
Nonetheless, we maintain the view that the ultimate damage will be rather smaller than some of the more pessimistic projections have suggested. After all, the UK will remain inside the EU for at least two years and possibly longer.
Kit Juckes, a strategist at Société Générale
The UK economy enters a period of huge uncertainty — and weakness as a result — and despite the 9.8 per cent fall in GBP/USD that we have seen overnight, there is a grave danger of further weakness in the weeks ahead. Indeed, the view of policymakers will be that a weaker pound is a vital economic shock absorber.
Concern about the economic fallout in Europe is likely to see the euro fall further in the weeks ahead too — it has actually held up rather better than I for one expected but a drop to 1.06 in EUR/USD seems likely. Political fallout has already seen Scandinavian and CEE currencies fall on concerns about what this means for the EU.
Mujtaba Rahman, Eurasia Group
The Leave campaign’s victory has caught markets significantly offside, particularly given the belief that momentum had swung towards Remain in recent days.
Sterling will continue to remain the most likely victim of market swings, especially versus the yen and Swiss franc, but the broader systemic consequences will best be gauged by watching the behaviour of European bank credit and peripheral eurozone government debt.
Strategists at Royal Bank of Canada
Most investors were following bookies’ odds, which had been consistently calling for a Remain vote until halfway through last night. So markets were entirely unpriced for this outcome.
Now expectations turn to a BoE cut followed by QE if necessary (with the possibility of GBP intervention if markets get disorderly).