Stocks crash after UK vote to quit EU shocks investors – by Youkyung Lee and Danica Kirka (Associated Press – June 24, 2016)

LONDON (AP) — Stock markets crashed, oil prices tumbled and the pound fell to a 31-year low on Friday as Britain’s unprecedented vote to leave the European Union shocked investors and dragged the region, the world’s largest economic bloc, into a new era of uncertainty.

Investors rushed to dump European shares as soon as markets opened, following earlier drops in Asia, and Wall Street was set to fall sharply amid concerns about the economic consequences of the vote. The move could drain confidence among companies and business in Britain and the wider EU, which some fear could even face more defections.

Britain’s FTSE 100 plunged about 8 percent but recovered slightly for a 5 percent loss. The German index tanked 10 percent, which would be its biggest one-day decline ever, and France’s index tumbled about 7 percent. Wall Street was due to open sharply lower, with Dow and S&P 500 futures down 2.4 percent and 3.2 percent.

The pound hit its lowest level since 1985, diving as much as 11 percent before recovering slightly to trade 6 percent lower at $1.3917. Oil prices crashed, with the U.S. benchmark diving $1.95 to $48.16 a barrel. The Nikkei 225 plummeted about 8 percent, its biggest fall since 2008.

The result of the vote, which trickled in when Asian markets were trading, caught investors by surprise. Markets had rallied on Thursday on hopes for a “remain” vote and bookies had given such an outcome a high probability of success.

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