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Australia, NZ: Shares drop sharply on Brexit

38837154 - 24_06_2016 - BRITAIN-EU_REFERENDUM-ASIA MARKETS.jpg

[SYDNEY] Australian shares plunged more than 3 per cent and New Zealand stocks slumped more than 2 per cent on Friday, as voters in Britain took the historic decision to pull out of the European Union, roiling global markets.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 3.17 per cent, or 167.484 points, to end the session at 5,113.20. It was the benchmark's biggest single-day fall since September 2015 and wiped A$50 billion (S$50 billion) off the exchange.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index shed 2.25 per cent, or 153.57 points, to finish the session at 6,667.78.