Commodities were swept up in a global market frenzy as investors sold assets linked to economic growth such as oil and copper and sought safety in precious metals after U.K. voters opted to leave the European Union.
Gold posted its biggest one-day gain since the global financial crisis of 2008 and silver jumped the most in 18 months after U.K. voters backed the “Leave” campaign by 52 percent to 48 percent in a referendum on EU membership.
Brent crude futures slumped as much as 6.6 percent and copper in London sank the most since Jan. 7 as the U.S. dollar surged. The Bloomberg Commodities Index of returns on 22 raw materials fell as much as 2.2 percent, the most since January.
“The flight to safety is very, very evident,” said Jeremy Wrathall, head of global natural resources in London at Investec Plc. “Copper is moving down, oil is moving down, it’s a reaction to the dollar. The only commodity that’s not behaving that way is gold.”
Wild swings in commodities echo wider turmoil in global financial markets following the referendum decision in the world’s fifth-largest economy. The British pound slid by the most on record against the dollar and reached its weakest level since 1985. Stocks tumbled in Asia and Europe, while haven assets such as U.S. Treasuries rose.
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