Britain’s benchmark stock index, the FTSE 100, is tanking on Friday, as the stock rally that briefly ensued after the shock election of Republican Donald Trump to the US Presidency comes well and truly to an end, with volatility returning to the markets.
Around 1.25 p.m. GMT (8.25 a.m. ET) the FTSE is lower by almost 1.2% on the day, dragged lower by a strengthening pound. Here’s the chart:
Though a stronger pound might seem like good news for UK stocks, about 70% of the revenue of the companies that make up the FTSE 100 is derived from abroad, meaning they make less money when sterling is strong. That is because the index is full of mining companies, oil firms, and pharmaceutical giants that use the UK as a base but tend to denominate their assets in dollars.
Essentially, when the pound does well, the FTSE does badly, and vice versa, as evidenced by the near 15% gain in the index since it crashed on the day after Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union.
Leading the losses in the FTSE is the emerging market-focused bank Standard Chartered, which is getting slammed on fears that Trump’s presidency will lead to protectionism and dwindling free trade, something that will cause serious pain for EM economies. Standard is off more than 6.3% on the day.
Other companies pulling the FTSE down on Friday including precious metals miners, Fresnillo and Randgold Resources, both of whom are suffering from the fall in gold and silver prices since Trump’s victory. Both are lower by more than 4.4%.
Elsewhere in Europe, stocks are mixed, with Germany’s DAX and Italy’s FTSE MIB higher, but other stocks in negative territory. Here’s the scoreboard: