Barclays is already warning investors to take cover for the coming recession

Riot police take up position during a demonstration led by high school students in Valparaiso city, about 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Santiago, May 8, 2008. High school students on Thursday protested against changes to the public state education system and demanded a bigger budget for universities.

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Barclays is telling investors to prepare for a downturn.

Barclays on Monday downgraded forecasts for two UK-listed companies, blaming an "expect[ed] period of recession and uncertainty in the UK."

Analyst Andrew Ross and his team took the red pen to online estate agent Rightmove and price comparison website

The investment bank says it likes both companies' business models and believes they will win out in the long run. But both are too intertwined with the fabric of the UK economy to avoid taking a hit from the dip in the British economy that the bank expects to see as a result of the Brexit vote.
On Rightmove, analyst Ross and his team say:

"We remain structurally positive on Rightmove. But last week's referendum changes the story near term. Our economists now expect a period of recession and uncertainty in the UK, which is likely to mean reductions in house prices and transaction volumes. Rightmove does not have a one-for-one link to these two factors. But there will be an impact if new home developments are mothballed, estate agency branches start to close and price increases for the property portals become more difficult."

Barclays downgraded earnings forecasts, slashed its target price for shares from £37.38 to £33.00, and downgraded its stock rating to "underweight", meaning it expects Rightmove to perform below the wider market in the near future.

Rightmove shares are down over 6.8% at 12.00 p.m. BST (7.00 a.m. ET):


The move for is even worse. Barclays' Ross, also the analyst on the stock, writes:

"We have been positive on Moneysupermarket since initiating last year. But the layers of uncertainty in the story have been building in the last nine months, most notably from elevated competition. The outcome of the UK referendum and a forthcoming expected recession in the UK is now a new concern, and one uncertainty too many for us."As with Rightmove, Barclays cuts forecasts for's earnings, reduces its price guide from £2.75 per share to £2.60, and downgrades its outlook to equal weight, meaning it expects the price comparison site to perform simply in-line with the sector average.
Advertisement shares have crashed over 11% at 12.15 p.m. BST (7.15 a.m. ET) on Monday:


The Treasury and the Bank of England both warned ahead of the EU referendum that a vote to leave could tip the UK into recession and multiple forecasting agencies and banks have pencilled in, at best, a hit to growth.

Many in the Leave camp dismissed this as simply scaremongering from "Project Fear." But Barclays' downgrades show how it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy as fear of a recession spooks investment.

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