Brexit: Is the worst over for the ASX 200?


After Friday’s shock sell-off, some investors will have had an anxious weekend waiting to see whether the selling would continue into Monday.

Thankfully for those investors, that hasn’t come to fruition. Although the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) dropped by more than 1% shortly after the market opened this morning, the main bourse is now sitting a mere 0.1% higher. It isn’t much, but it’ll feel like a breath of fresh air nonetheless.

Shares plunged around the world on Friday after Britain unexpectedly decided to leave the European Union by way of referendum vote. While the Remain campaign was expected to be victorious, 51.9% of voters announced their desire to leave the EU, with indications that some of those voters actually regretted their decision immediately after.

As highlighted by The Sydney Morning Herald, which quoted IG Markets analyst Angus Nicholson (emphasis added), “Markets will have had the weekend to digest Friday’s horror sell-off, and while we are still expecting a very weak day in Asia, the selling is likely to be more strategic with possibly even some buying in certain stocks that tend to outperform in downturns.”

As expected, some businesses that are directly exposed to the European market have been sold down further today. Clydesdale Bank plc (ASX: CYB) is off another 7.7% after sliding 17.5% on Friday, while Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) and Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) are down between 0.7% and 5.7%.

The banks have also been disappointing today after financial stocks around the globe crashed on Friday evening and Saturday morning (Sydney time). Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) is down 0.8%, although Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) is slightly in the black so far.

However, shares of many businesses are trading higher today with investors recognising potential buying opportunities. Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), for instance is higher. Also, many property-related businesses including Scentre Group Ltd (ASX: SCG) are trading higher.

Although the market has risen marginally today, it would be naïve to suggest the volatility is behind us. Regardless of whether or not we have another individual day as bad as Friday, shares could still experience turbulence in the coming days and weeks which investors ought to be prepared for.

Still, volatility creates opportunity, and investors should also be on the lookout for great businesses trading at great prices during that time.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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