How the Euro Vote Unfolded on the Business Networks Overnight

By Mark Joyella 

It was a very long night.

For Fox Business Network, CNBC and Bloomberg, the overseas vote counting–and the stunning result–led directly into the dramatic reaction of world markets as Britain’s decision to leave the E.U. sent global stocks plummeting.

At 10 p.m. ET Thursday, it still seemed as if the U.K. would remain in Europe. “If you look at the odds checker which tracks these bookmaker odds, we have 58 percent probability for remain. And 42 percent for Brexit,” reported Bloomberg TV’s Nejra Cehic.


Moments later on Fox Business, an analyst predicted a win for Leave would be “horrendous” for the British economy. “The global markets do not like uncertainty,” he told Trish Regan. “If this Brexit happens, the Pound will crash.”

At 10:48 p.m. ET, Bloomberg’s Cehic said the results seemed to be tilting toward a done deal. “At the moment we’re seeing an 87 percent probability of a Brexit. This was at 90 percent probability of Bremain before we got many of these results out. So a real switch coming through and this has been swinging back and forth throughout the night as these results have come in.”

By 10:58 p.m. ET, markets were already reacting to the election results. FBN’s Trish Regan reporting Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was off more than 700 points. “They don’t like it in Asia at all, not one bit. It has been very, very volatile session.”

Shortly after 11 p.m. ET, FBN’s Stuart Varney said “I think this is the beginning of the end of the European Union.”

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Within the hour, Fox Business–along with their sister network Sky News–reported the vote was decided, and Leave had prevailed. As CNBC opened its coverage at the top of the hour at 12:00 a.m. ET, the network noted that all of the major U.K. broadcasters had forecast a win for Leave. “This looks like it’s going to turn into an historic day,” said anchor Geoff Cutmore.

By 12:46 a.m. ET, one of the FBN’s analysts described it as “a gobsmacking turn of events.”

At the opening bell on Wall Street, an immediate market selloff, the Dow dropping 500 points while the S&P had its worst open since 1896. CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla tweeted a staggering statistic: