European stocks got obliterated on Tuesday as investors continued to flood out of risky equities and towards safer assets ahead of the UK’s EU membership referendum and amid a climate of general global uncertainty.
All of continental Europe’s major indexes were down at least 1% at the close, with several seeing losses of more than 2% on a day when stocks fell substantially for a fourth consecutive trading session.
The FTSE 100 in Britain saw a large fall — down 2.1% to 5,918 points. It’s the first time since February the index has ended the day lower than 6,000 points. All but two stocks — engineering firm Meggitt, and equipment rental company Ashtead — were lower on the day.
Mining companies were hit hardest, with Anglo American and copper miner Antofagasta down more than 4%. Here’s how the FTSE closed on Tuesday:
One of the biggest losers on the day was Italy’s FTSE MIB, down 2.04% to 16,282. It was pushed lower by weak banking stocks. Investors in the country continue to worry about the impact of negative interest rates in the eurozone and their impact on bank profitability, as well as the ongoing woes surrounding the stability of Italy’s financial sector. The MIB has now fallen by 2% or more for three consecutive trading days.
Two banks were down more than 5% on the week’s second day of trading, while several others lost at least 3%. Here’s how the MIB looked on the day:
Here’s the scoreboard for the rest of the biggest indexes on the continent:
- German DAX: 1.33% to 9,529
- French CAC 40: down 2.21% to 4,133
- Spanish IBEX 35: down 2.10% to 8,129
- Eurostoxx 50: down 2.13% to 2,801
As stocks across the continent fell, bond prices continued to rally, sending yields lower. Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield dropped into negative territory for the first time in history on Tuesday, while British Gilts also plumbed all-time lows. Investors are pouring money into bonds at a record rate as they look for safe haven amid global uncertainty, much of which is centred on the increasing likelihood that Britain will vote to leave the European Union.