The media made the shock exit of the UK from the European Union seem much worse than it really was. The FTSE 100 index fell 3.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Index lost 3.3%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) shed 2.1% on Friday, which in the grand scheme of things was hardly a disaster.
Currencies were a different matter, though. Sterling fell 8% to against the US dollar to a 30-year low. It hit a 31-year low against the greenback before paring some of the loss. Against the Japanese yen it lost 11.4%, which would make exports from the Land of Rising Sun to the UK considerably more expensive. But British exports would be cheaper.
Gold surged to a two-year high as frightened traders sought solace in the yellow metal. The commodity, which doesn’t generate a yield, jumped to US$1,356 an ounce before falling back to US$1,320.
Noble Group (SGX: N21) has received strong backing for a one-for-one rights issue. The embattled commodity trader said 98.7% of shareholders voted in favour of the US$500 million fund-raising exercise.
The cost of living in Singapore, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell for the 19th straight month in May. Economists had expected headline inflation of -0.8%. The actual number was -1.6%. Core inflation, which strips out volatile elements from the basket, rose to a 14-month high of 1%.
And finally, it is reckoned that some £20 million (S$37 million) was wagered on the outcome of the Brexit vote. But with odds overwhelmingly in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union, otherwise known as Bremain, bookies were the winners on the day. And that is why UK bookies have three tills to take bets and only one for paying out!
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