After Brexit all-nighter, City prepares for re-opening of Asian markets and FTSE

William Turvill
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Asian Markets Continue To Fall on Fears Of China Slowdown
The UK voted to leave the European Union last week (Source: Getty)

Traders are preparing for a busy start to the week after the results of the EU referendum and Brexit kept the City of London up all night on Thursday.

All eyes will be on the Asian markets on Sunday night and Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told City A.M. he would not be surprised to see the FTSE 100 open below 6,000 points on Monday. He said it was “a given” that it would open lower.

On Friday afternoon, the blue-chip index staged a recovery – ending the day at 6,162.97 points, down 2.76 per cent or 175 points – after falling by more than eight per cent at the open.

Hewson was also not hopeful for the pound’s performance against the dollar. “How the political instability will play into sentiment around sterling is anybody’s guess, but I’m guessing it’s probably not going to be that positive,” he said.

Read more: War bunkers, pizza and caffeine – how the City is preparing for tonight

Brexit Britain: What you need to know

Hewson was among many in the City who got little sleep on Thursday night as the referendum results came in. After a couple of hours of sleep in a hotel near his office, Hewson woke shortly after 3am to find Leave gaining a shock lead in the voting counts. Arriving into work at around 4am, he did not return home until 8.30pm.

Elsewhere, Sunday night is set to be another busy one for City Index’s global head of client management, Chris Lodge. The spreadbetting and trading company had staff working through the night between Thursday and Friday, peaking at around 2am with 150 workers.

After working through the night, Lodge and his colleagues were able to leave the office at around 4pm on Friday. He is back in tonight from 10pm for the open of the Asian markets, hoping not to be in for more than three hours.

Fewer people will be working, between 10 and 15, but Lodge has a "back-up plan to draft more people in if they’re needed". He added: "But we’re hoping not to see the kind of volatility that we saw on Friday morning."

City Index will also have a larger-than-usual operation on Monday morning for the opening of the UK markets, with staff in from 6.30am.

Read more: SEC to keep an eye on the markets after Brexit vote

Describing the scenes at City Index in the early hours of Friday, Lodge told City A.M.: “All of a sudden we’re faced with something we thought was an outside chance and it became very real between 2am and 3am, really.

“So it was all hands on deck… All of a sudden things became very serious. And instead of standing around looking at results on the television, everybody walked back to their desks and hunkered down, got on the line to the people they needed to call. And it was work as usual, albeit in a volatile and stressful situation.”