Sterling slid by the most on record and European stocks headed for the biggest drop since 2008 as trading soared. The yen strengthened past 100 per dollar for the first time since November 2013, benchmark Treasury yields had their biggest drop in more than four years and gold rose the most since the global financial crisis. The New York Stock Exchange has temporarily widened the amount individual stocks can rise or fall before being halted during the open.
The victory for the "Leave" campaign prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to resign, while Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a second referendum on independence was back “on the table.” The outcome stunned many investors who’d put wagers on riskier assets over the past week as bookmakers’ odds suggested the chance of a so-called Brexit was less than one in four.
The final tally, announced just after 7 a.m. London time, showed voters had backed “Leave” by 52 percent to 48 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and HSBC Holdings Plc said the result may prompt them to move thousands of jobs out of London. S&P Global Ratings said the U.K. will lose its AAA credit rating.

How Britain Voted: Brexit Results

For full coverage of the referendum, click here

Some equity benchmarks and currencies pared losses after Governor Mark Carney said the Bank of England was ready to pump billions of pounds into the financial system to support markets and wouldn’t hesitate to take additional measures if needed. The European Central Bank said it will give banks all the funding they require to counter market turmoil.
These are among the most notable moves in global financial markets:
  • British pound falls as much as 11 percent to $1.3229, weakest since 1985
  • Yen strengthens 3.5 percent to 102.43 per dollar, after reaching 99.02
  • FTSE 100 Index slides as much as 8.7 percent, most since 2008
  • S&P 500 Index futures slump as much as 5.1 percent, triggering a trading curb
  • Gold surges as much as 8.1 percent to $1,358.54 an ounce
  • Yield on 10-year Treasuries drops as low as 1.40 percent
  • New York crude oil retreats as much as 6.8 percent to $46.70 a barrel
  • Poland’s zloty, South Africa’s rand drop at least 4.4 percent per dollar, lead emerging-market currencies lower
The pound was down 7.8 percent to $1.3723 as of 8:48 a.m. in New York. Its biggest one-day loss prior to that was a move of 4.1 percent recorded in 1992, when the currency was forced out of Europe’s exchange-rate mechanism.
“Market liquidity and overall liquidity in the U.K. is drying up as we speak in a very rapid way,” said John Woods, chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific at Credit Suisse Private Banking, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “It’s highly likely that we see monetary easing in a coordinated response” from central banks across the world, he said.
The euro slumped 2.7 percent, while currencies in Norway, Sweden and Australia posted even steeper losses.
The zloty fell 1.7 percent against the euro and 4.5 percent versus the dollar, leading losses in emerging Europe, as Britain’s exit threatened to throttle aid to the bloc’s less-affluent member states. Hungary’s forint dropped 1.1 percent against the euro. The rand slid 4.7 percent against the dollar.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index tumbled 7.2 percent, with trading volumes five times the 30-day average. A gauge of banks led the selloff, declining 15 percent. The FTSE 100 Index slid 4 percent. Barclays Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc both lost about one-fifth of their market value.
U.K. construction firms Taylor Wimpey Plc and Bovis Homes Group Plc sank more than 20 percent. EasyJet Plc, the low-cost carrier which gets about half its revenue from European markets excluding the U.K., tumbled 17 percent. Julius Baer Group Ltd. dropped 8.5 percent after saying market turbulence triggered by Brexit could temporarily hit gross margins at wealth-management firms.
“It’s already been a long day today,” said William Hobbs, head of investment strategy at the wealth-management unit of Barclays in London. “Risk appetite is going to evaporate in the coming days. How long that risk-off will go remains the question. What we would urge clients to remember is that the impact of the U.K. is unhelpful but digestible.”
S&P 500 futures fell 3.4 percent. Trading will stop in securities that fall 10 percent, more than the usual 7 percent.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 1.6 percent, the biggest loss in more than a month. West Texas Intermediate oil lost 4.3 percent to $47.97 a barrel and copper slid 2.1 percent.
Gold climbed 5.4 percent to $1,325.05 an ounce and silver rallied the most in 18 months.
“Gold has delivered what it promised: doing extremely well in adverse times,” said Dominic Schnider, head of commodities and Asia-Pacific foreign exchange at the wealth-management unit at UBS Group AG in Hong Kong. “Energy and industrial metals, where demand is tied to expectations for global economic growth, were hardest hit by Brexit.
The yield on 10-year German bunds fell 17 basis points to minus 0.07 percent, while the rate on similar-maturity Italian notes rose 18 basis points to 1.56 percent.
A gauge of where bank borrowing costs will be in the months ahead, known as the FRA/OIS spread, hit the most extreme level since 2012. The three-month FRA/OIS spread widened to 0.32 percentage point, compared with 0.27 on Thursday.