Europe News

The official Brexit referendum date was announced a year ago. Here’s how markets have performed

Photographer | Collection | Getty Images

Exactly a year ago former Prime Minister David Cameron officially announced that Britain would vote on the fate of its relationship with the European Union on June 23rd, 2016. The official announcement to the Houses of Parliament was made on February 22.

Sterling tumbled about 2 percent on the news and politicians like current Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage started their campaign to lead Britain out of the EU.

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

One year on, CNBC looks at how financial markets have performed since then.


Sterling has been on a roller coaster ride ever since the announcement of Brexit but saw massive falls after the actual vote to leave the European Union on June 23. The currency is down more than 13 percent since February 20 last year.

While the initial moves after the Brexit results were dramatic, plunging from the highs of $1.50 to a 31-year low of $1.32, the currency continues to remain under pressure at current levels of $1.24. A number of analysts have warned that with the U.K. heading into so much uncertainty, sterling appreciation may not come until growth outlook improves.

Some analysts have also said that sterling could come under further pressure once Article 50 is triggered.


Britain's blue-chip share index FTSE 100 is up more than 22 percent since David Cameron officially announced the referendum date. While the initial forecasts suggested that FTSE could fall by over 10 percent in the year following the Brexit vote, the fall in pound against the U.S. dollar has helped the FTSE gain ground.

A number of companies in this index do a large amount of business outside of the UK which means they make more money when sterling is weak.

UK Gilts

UK Gilts were forecast to rise by 3 to 4 percent in case of the UK voting to leave the European Union and yields were expected to fall by 20 to 30 basis points.

In the months following Brexit, UK Gilt yields soared on fears of 'Hard Brexit' and higher inflation prospects in the UK. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of their yields.

European stocks

Major European indexes have seen ups and downs in the past year owing to a number of market events. While the announcement of the official referendum date saw a setback for stocks, all three indexes are sharply higher since a year ago.

The rally can also be attributed to the bullish sentiment surrounding President Donald Trump in the U.S. and investors' expectations of business-friendly tax policies and a fiscal push from his administration.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.