US stocks end sharply lower after British vote to leave the European Union; market has its biggest loss since August

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Global stocks and the pound plunged after Britons voted to leave the European Union.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 611 points, or 3.4 percent, to 17,399 in heavy trading Friday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 75 points, or 3.6 percent, to 2,037. The Nasdaq composite sank 202 points, or 4.1 percent, to 4,707.

It was the biggest drop for the Dow and S&P 500 since August and the worst fall for the Nasdaq since 2011.

Some European markets fell even more. France’s benchmark index lost 8 percent and Germany’s fell 7 percent. Britain’s fell 3 percent.

Bond prices rose sharply as investors sought safety.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 1.57 percent from 1.75 percent a day earlier, a huge move.

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