The votes are in and the United Kingdom will dissolve its 43-year membership in the European Union, triggering mass sell-off in global markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Leading the plunge, United Kingdom market-related ETFs were the worst hit, with the First Trust United Kingdom AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FKU), which provides a smart-beta play on U.K. stocks, down 17.4% Friday. The iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (NYSEArca: EWU), the largest U.K.-related ETF, declined 10.8% while the iShares MSCI United Kingdom Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: EWUS), which follows small-cap U.K. stocks, decreased 15.1%.
The CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust (NYSEArca: FXB) fell 7.6% Friday, but immediately following the U.K. referendum vote, the British pound sterling plummeted over 10% to $1.3236, its worst intra-day performance and lowest point since 1985.
Peripheral Eurozone states also took a beating, with the Global X MSCI Greece ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) down 16.4%, iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWP) down 15.3% and iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWI) 14.6% lower.
The iShares MSCI Europe Financials ETF (NYSEArca: EUFN), which tracks European financial companies, was the worst sector play, falling off 15.5% Friday.
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The referendum on the U.K’s membership in the European Union came in with 48.1% voting to remain with the E.U. while 51.9% voted to leave, severing the U.K.’s ties with the E.U. after 43 years.
The results showed that London, Scotland and Northern Ireland were among the remain camp against the rest of the country, reports Jenny Gross for the Wall Street Journal.