Yorkshire’s leading companies saw 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.
Yorkshire biggest PLC, housebuilder Persimmon, lost 28 per cent of its value, while credit lender Provident Financial suffered an 18 per cent fall and supermarket chain Morrisons saw a four per cent decline.
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.
James Andrews at Redmayne-Bentley said that trading had not been as catastrophic as had been widely predicted in some circumstances and that there had been some buying in the FTSE100, with the impact on worldwide markets being more severe.
“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.
While supermarkets shares were down across the board, one small crumb of comfort was offered by Shore Capital analyst Clive Black saying it could cost Aldi and Lidl more to import their products into the UK, which could mean them having to increase prices.
Mr Black said: “We expect sterling to be weak against the dollar, an easy call; its performance against the euro is more imponderable but has important implications for the fresh food segment in the UK in particular – Aldi and Lidl for example import much more of their groceries than the UK supermarkets, so do they suffer lower margins or increase prices?”
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.