- Reuters/Russell Boyce
Good morning on this historic Friday. Here’s what you need to know:
Brexit wins. Britain voted on Thursday to leave the European Union. The final results, with a record turnout for a UK poll, showed that 51.9% voted to leave the EU versus 48.1% that voted for Britain to stay. The results were a shock for many observers, as polls published the day before the referendum suggested that Remain was in the lead. British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to be persuaded to activate Article 50 0f the Treaty on European Union, which permits a member state to notify the EU of its withdrawal and start negotiating an agreement to leave.
David Cameron is resigning. “I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” Cameron said in an emotional speech outside 10 Downing Street. The prime minister promised the referendum back in 2013, backing the Remain campaign. “In my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October,” Cameron said.
Global markets are in shambles. US futures are sharply lower, with S&P 500 futures down 74 points (3.53%) and Dow futures down 497 points (2.79%). Stocks rallied into the market close on Thursday as traders bet that Britain would vote to stay. European stocks are also in chaos: the FTSE 100 is down 4.9%, and the Euro Stoxx is down 8.4% to its lowest level since February. Japan’s Nikkei tanked 7.9%, also to a February low. The flight from stocks is pumping Treasurys and gold. Gold is up 4.5%, or $57 an ounce, to $1,320.10, a two-year high. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is down 22 basis points to 1.512%, not far from a record low.
The pound had its worst crash ever. The British currency had its biggest one-day drop on record, plunging more than 11.0% to a low as 1.3239 per dollar – a 30-year low. “Britain’s shock vote to leave the EU has unleashed a wave of economic and political uncertainty that likely will drive the UK into recession,” Samuel Tombs, the chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note.
European central banks are stepping in. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the central bank could pump up to £250 billion ($345 billion) into the financial system to steer the economy through a “period of uncertainty and adjustment.” He added that this could be accompanied by more volatility. The Swiss National Bank said it intervened in the foreign-exchange market and would remain active after the franc soared against the euro. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in congressional testimony earlier this week that a Brexit vote could have “significant repercussions.”
Donald Trump says Britons took their country back. The Republican presidential frontrunner, who is in Scotland to open a golf resort, said “they’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are,” according to the BBC. Analysts are opining on what this means for the US election in November. “If Britain can vote itself out of Europe, America can vote itself in for Trump,” veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz told Business Insider.
JPMorgan may rejig its European operation. In a memo to employees, CEO Jamie Dimon said “we may need to make changes to our European legal entity structure and the location of some roles.” The bank plans to retain a “large presence” in Britain, Dimon said. Three weeks ago, Dimon said in a speech that JPMorgan could move an undisclosed number of its 16,000 UK-based workers to Europe if Britain votes for a Brexit.
The 33 biggest banks aced their stress tests. Results of the Federal Reserve’s latest tests showed Thursday that the banks had sufficiently boosted their protections against a sharp economic downturn. The tests, conducted since 2009 and mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act since 2011, attempt to determine the safety of financial institutions with more than $50 billion in US-based assets.
Twilio surged 92% in its market debut. Twilio, which provides phone and messaging support services, priced at $15 a share and ended Thursday at $28.79, a 91.9% jump. It was this year’s third and biggest initial public offering in tech.
In US economic data, May durable goods orders will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. And the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment report for June is due at 10 a.m. ET.