Asian stocks were trading lower on 24 June (Friday) after results from the referendum suggested Britain had opted to leave the EU. While the vote counting has not yet concluded, the BBC, Sky News and other major British television networks reported that the Leave campaign is likely to win.

The Nikkei, which had opened in the green in early trade, later plunged into bear territory. As of 5.34am GMT, it was down 7.8% at 14,977.31. It has taken the biggest hit among all Asian markets and at one point was down as much as 8.3%. Trading in Nikkei futures was halted for about 10 minutes, a first since 23 May, 2013.

Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG in Singapore, told Reuters: "Equities markets will be affected and we can see that Asian stocks are already under a fair bit of pressure. British banks listed in Hong Kong are suffering significant losses."

Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 24 June at 5.37am GMT:

Hong KongHang Seng Index19,802.95Down5.13%
ChinaShanghai Composite Index2,846.35Down1.58%
South KoreaKOSPI1,917.64Down3.48%
IndiaCNX Nifty7,960.20Down3.75%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,095.40Down3.51%

The outcome was a surprise and was not reflected in earlier polls that had suggested the vote would be a close call and eventually swing in favour of Remain.

Stephen Innes, a senior trader at OANDA, told CNBC, "While we expect liquidity to deteriorate as we near the final outcome, market depth is playing out as anticipated. We should expect a high level of volatility, bordering on excessive at times, as results hit the wires."