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Markets Open, Plunge Following Britain 'Leave' Vote


A traders works as EU Referendum results come in on a giant screen behind, in London, Britain, June 24, 2016.

A traders works as EU Referendum results come in on a giant screen behind, in London, Britain, June 24, 2016.

Markets across Europe plummeted at opening Friday morning, as investors reacted to Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Euro stocks and markets in Britain, France and Germany all dropped by at least 8 percent shortly after opening. U.S. futures indicate a sharp drop is expected when markets open.

The Bank of England said Friday it will take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability. It added that it is working closely with domestic authorities and overseas banks to develop a contingency plan.

The pound dropped to $1.34 by midday in Asia Friday, down from $1.50 Thursday afternoon. That had been its highest level this year.

The Bank of England said Friday it will take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability. It added that it is working closely with domestic authorities and overseas banks to develop a contingency plan.

A woman watching the Brexit vote in The Churchill Tavern, a British themed pub, reacts as a graph shows the British Pound falling in value following the announcement that Britain would leave the European Union, in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S.,

A woman watching the Brexit vote in The Churchill Tavern, a British themed pub, reacts as a graph shows the British Pound falling in value following the announcement that Britain would leave the European Union, in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S.,

Europe markets were poised to open sharply lower.

Investor concerns over Britain's likely departure from the EU lapped over into other currency markets, with the U.S. dollar sinking more than four percent against the yen. The euro also fell three percent against the dollar.

Stock markets closed after an unpredictable day in Asia with Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 sinking nearly 8 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropping more than 4 percent and Sydney's ASX 200 losing more than three percent. Gold prices are up more than five percent, while oil prices have dropped five percent.

Traders in financial markets around the world have been bracing for this day. There have been forecasts that a Leave victory could send the pound tumbling by 15 percent, which would prompt investors to dump British assets and could roil markets around the globe.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund and market economists have warned that the uncertainty caused by the so-called "Brexit" referendum could cause substantial economic impact.

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