Europe Markets

Europe stocks plummet to close 7% lower after Brexit vote

European stocks came off their session lows on Friday before falling again, as the news the U.K. had voted to leave the European Union (EU) rocked global markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed down around 7 percent lower on the day.

Losses were led by peripheral bourses, with London's FTSE 100 outperforming. It closed 3.2 percent lower on the day and nearly 2 percent higher on the week.

European markets

The French CAC closed around 8 percent lower on the day. Germany's DAX index tanked as much as 10 percent before paring losses, closing around 6.8 percent down.

Italy's FTSE MIB and Spain's IBEX both closed more than 12 percent lower.

The unexpected result of the referendum sent sterling into freefall, hitting its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 in the early hours of Friday morning at around $1.3224. It traded at $1.3645 around the European stock market close.

Bank stocks were hard hit, with the U.K.'s Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland both ending the session around 18 percent lower.

European banks headquartered outside of the U.K. also fell steeply. Shares of Greek and Italian banks, which were already under pressure because of concerns about their bad debt piles, were notably poor performers.

The day Britain decided to leave the EU
The day Britain decided to leave the EU

Shares of Alpha Bank and Eurobank Ergasias closed around 30 percent lower, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo closed roughly 23 percent down.

Shares of French and German banks also tumbled, with Deutsche Bank ended around 14 percent lower on Friday.

Crude oil prices tanked, while gold, a so-called safe-haven asset, spiked as much as 5.5 percent. This helped stocks of precious metals miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo to the top of the FTSE 100.

Outside of Europe, the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average and the indexes traded around 2.5 percent lower at the European market close.

Asian stocks also slumped, with the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 tumbling to close 7.9 percent lower.

Retailers, travel stocks slump

British retailers were hit, likely due to fears of the effect the vote could have on consumer confidence and spending. Stocks like Next and Marks & Spencer plummeted.

Travel and leisure stocks were also under pressure. Shares of budget airline EasyJet closed more than 14 percent lower.

UK housing stocks lower
UK housing stocks lower

Housebuilders felt the heat, due to uncertainty over investment in the U.K. post-Brexit. Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon were at the bottom of the FTSE 100, closing more than 27 percent down on the day.

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