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Oil prices dive as Britain votes to leave EU

Oil prices slumped by more than 6 percent on Friday after results of a landmark referendum showed Britain had voted to leave the European Union, causing huge market uncertainty and fracturing European efforts to forge greater unity.

Financial markets have been racked for months by worries about what Brexit, or a British exit from the European Union, would mean for Europe’s stability, but were clearly not factoring in the risk of a leave vote.

The dollar fell below 100 yen for the first time since November 2013, while the pound dropped by the most in living memory.

U.S. crude was down $2.77 at $47.34 a barrel at around 0314 GMT.

Brent crude was down $2.75 at $48.16 a barrel.

“In the interim, it’s down for everything from equities to oil. Bad economies in the UK and Europe is not good for oil and there could be a domino effect on other economies in Asia,” said IHS oil analyst Victor Shum.

The result leaves the crude oil market in thrall to other drivers but even if the dust settles soon prices are likely to see swings, albeit around an equilibrium mark of $50, he said.

Oil prices had risen more than 30 percent this year before Thursday’s fateful UK vote.

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