Financial Markets Show Lingering ‘Brexit’ Worries
LONDON — Financial markets got off to another weak start on Wednesday, as investors made skittish by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union fled stocks in search of safer places to stash their money.
That nervousness sent the British currency, the pound, to new 31-year lows, and it pushed the yield on Japanese debt into negative territory, meaning investors were effectively paying Japan’s government to lend it money. Seeking havens for their cash, many have turned to the United States dollar and gold, as well.
The sharp shifts reflected lingering uncertainty over the impact of last month’s vote, known as Brexit, and came with concerns over Britain’s real estate market also increasing. Three of the country’s major real estate funds halted withdrawals in recent days, to stop panicked investors from fleeing.
The impacts of the June 23 referendum are still being felt the world over, but policy makers have pledged to do whatever is necessary to ensure the markets continue to function. The Bank of England, Britain’s central bank, has pledged 250 billion pounds, or about $330 billion, as a backstop to keep the markets functioning, but it warned on Tuesday that the financial environment had become “challenging.”
全球依然能感受到6月23日那场公投的影响，但政策制定者承诺采取一切必要措施，确保市场继续正常运转。英国央行英格兰银行(Bank of England)承诺拿出2500亿英镑（约合2.2万亿元人民币）作为后盾，保持市场照常运转，但该银行周二警告称，金融环境变得颇具“挑战性”。
Sweden’s central bank held its main interest rate at minus 0.5 percent on Wednesday, and it said it would postpone any future rate rises, noting that the referendum had caused “considerable uncertainty.”
As policy makers and economists continue to consider the implications, investors are putting their money in investments widely seen as stable.
The pound, which had recovered slightly since its steep fall after the referendum, dropped to $1.2798 against the dollar on Wednesday. The yield on Britain’s benchmark 10-year government bond, which moves inversely to the price, continued falling to all-time lows. Stocks in Britain and Continental Europe were down, and the price of gold continued its post-referendum rise.
In Asia, the yield on Japan’s 20-year government bonds fell below zero percent, which essentially means global investors are paying the Japanese government for the privilege of lending it their money. The once-rare phenomenon has become increasingly common around the world, upending a financial system that has been based on above-zero interest rates, as investors have sought safe investments amid slow economic growth and political uncertainty.
Japan’s benchmark stock index closed down 1.9 percent Wednesday afternoon, while Hong Kong stocks fell 1.2 percent.