Lancashire’s leading companies have seen their share prices plunge as more than £100bn was wiped off the FTSE 100 within minutes of the market opening following Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union.
British multinational defence, security and aerospace company, BAE Systems PLC, which has a base in Lancashire, has seen its share price fall by more than three per cent in the last 24 hours, while United Utilities’ value has also fallen by three per cent.
Following the decision, BAE has released a statement. It says: “We respect the decision by the British people to leave the EU. While we await the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the EU, we do not anticipate any immediate or material direct impact on our business. Our priority continues to be performing for our customers in delivering world-class capabilities at a competitive cost.”
The company stresses it had no stance on the EU Referendum and encouraged its employees to make up their own minds.
The FTSE 100 plunged 458 points to 5,880 - down over 7 per cent - and analysts warned of more carnage to come.
The pound also crashed 8 per cent against the dollar, falling from 1.50 US dollars to 1.36.
Banks bore the brunt of the fall, with Barclays down 27 per cent, Royal Bank of Scotland down 28 per cent and Lloyds, which owns the Halifax, taking a 24 per cent dive.
Dennis de Jong, managing director of UFX.com, said: “This is simply unprecedented. The pound has fallen off a cliff and the FTSE is now following suit. Britain’s EU referendum has been a cloud hanging over the global economy for the past few months and that cloud has got very dark this morning.
“The markets despise uncertainty, yet that is exactly what they’re faced with this morning. The shockwaves are likely to reverberate for some time and the warning lights are flashing brighter now than ever.”
Richard Buxton, head of UK equities at Old Mutual Global Investors, said Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is likely to result in a recession.”
Mr Buxton said that domestically-focused British businesses would be hardest hit.
“Investors should now brace themselves for an unpleasant period of relatively indiscriminate selling,” he said.