27 Jun 2016

Financial markets still turbulent post-Brexit

2:16 pm on 27 June 2016

Financial market ructions have continued in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

A money exchange in central London displays the post-Brexit rate for sterling on 25 June.

A money exchange in central London displays the post-Brexit rate for sterling on 25 June. Photo: AFP

Currencies have been buffeted, with the British pound falling further, and the local sharemarket has been knocked lower as investors look for safety.

The chief casualty among currencies has been the British pound, which is languishing close to the 30-year lows against the US dollar it hit on Friday.

Sterling had lost further ground against the greenback at 1.15pm, with the pound down 2 percent at $US1.33.

At midday today it was down nearly 1 percent against the New Zealand dollar, to its lowest level in nearly three years.

The kiwi is firm on the euro and sterling but brittle against the US dollar, down to 70.7 US cents at 1.15pm. The kiwi has also fallen against the yen, which is also regarded as a safe haven asset during uncertain and volatile events.

The financial markets were battered on Friday after the surprise vote, with United States stocks having their worst one-day fall in five years and sterling plunging to its lowest in more than 30 years.

The head of research at brokerage Craigs Investment Partners, Mark Lister, said New Zealand would feel the ripples from volatile markets but is likely to be insulated from the worst.

The volatility and uncertainty are scaring investors who are ditching risky assets such as shares, and looking for the safety of gold and government bonds.

The New Zealand sharemarket fell more than 1 percent today to a three month low, but at 1.15pm had trimmed its losses to 0.4 percent. It was down 29 points at 6639.

In the current climate, volatility seems the only sure bet.

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