Brexit fears send FTSE 100 plummeting below 6000 and pound near two-month lows

Fears for Sterling and stocks were compounded on Tuesday when The Sun, the UK's most read daily newspaper, pledged its support for the Leave campaign

Hazel Sheffield
Tuesday 14 June 2016 19:39
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The pound swung following the results of a Brexit poll conducted by ICM
The pound swung following the results of a Brexit poll conducted by ICM

Brexit fears sent the FTSE 100 index of the 100 biggest UK companies plummeting below 6000 on Tuesday, breaching lows not seen since February.

The pound continued its shaky descent against the dollar on Tuesday as fresh polls showed that momentum is continuing for a vote to Leave the EU in the upcoming referendum.

European stocks slumped to their lowest levels since February.

The UK's FTSE 100, the French CAC and the German DAX indexes were all down on Monday's close.

The FTSE 100 lost 1.28 per cent of its value to trade at 5,967.68 on Tuesday morning, with banks and building firms leading the sell-off.

The pound swung following the results of a Brexit poll conducted by ICM.

It showed that support for Brexit had grown to 53 per cent and that the proportion backing remain had shrunk to 47 per cent.

Early on Tuesday it slipped 0.5 per cent lower than the previous day's close to trade at $1.4142, near Monday lows of $1.4117, its lowest level in two months.

Against the euro, the pound was down around half a per cent to €1.2551.

“Brexit continues to dominate the news and play havoc with the volatility of the pound, with numerous polls this weekend suggesting that the Leave campaign has taken a lead," said Paresh Davdra, CEO and co-founder of RationalFX.

Fears for Sterling and stocks were compounded on Tuesday when The Sun, the UK's most read daily newspaper, pledged its support for the Leave campaign.

Traders watched for the release of UK inflation data, which showed that the cost of living in the UK remained static at 0.3 per cent.

This is well below the 2 per cent threshold the Bank of England has set before it looks at whether to raise interest rates.

The data will be used by the Monetary Policy Committee to decide whether to raise rates at its meeting on Thursday.

Investors will be watching the Bank of England as well as central banks in the US and Japan as they make announcements about interest rates this week.

Brexit 2016: Roundup

The Bank of England has said it will combat market jitters, which have already pushed one-month Sterling volatility to 28 per cent, with a massive cash injection of billions of pounds on Tuesday.

The money, called a special liquidity auction, has been planned to give financial institutions better access to life-saving liquidity around the referendum, to stop financial services from seizing up.

Connor Campbell, analyst at SpreadEx, said that Leave campaigners had started to dominate the conversation at a key time.

"Most damning is the fact that The Sun this morning came out in favour of a Brexit with a flashy and trashy editorial on the reason why Britain should quit the EU.

"The Brexiters have begun to dominate the conversation at the key time, and as shown by the market reaction there is a genuine fear that Europe is on a collision course with history," he said.

The EU referendum debate has so far been characterised by bias, distortion and exaggeration. So until 23 June we we’re running a series of question and answer features that explain the most important issues in a detailed, dispassionate way to help inform your decision.

What is Brexit and why are we having an EU referendum?

Will we gain or lose rights by leaving the European Union?

What will happen to immigration if there's Brexit?

Will Brexit make the UK more or less safe?

Will the UK benefit from being released from EU laws?

Will leaving the EU save taxpayers money and mean more money for the NHS?

What will Brexit do to UK trade?

How Brexit will affect British tourism

What will Brexit mean for British tourists booking holidays in the EU?

Will Brexit help or damage the environment?

Will Brexit mean that Europeans have to leave the UK?

What will Brexit mean for British expats?

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