The Nikkei went into free fall after the open, down over 900 points, and as of this writing has staged a minor recovery to a mere 780 points down and is now down 880 from yesterday’s close. Singapore is down 7%, Australia 6%. The yen is at 99 to the dollar, and gold is at $928 an ounce.
Asian stocks tumbled, driving Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average down as much 11 percent, and U.S. futures fell on concern the deepening credit crisis will push the global economy into recession….
“It’s a financial panic,” said Choi Min Jai, who oversees the equivalent of $2.1 billion at KTB Asset Management Co. in Seoul. “The recession can only get worse. You can’t find the link that will break the vicious cycle.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 4.9 percent to 87.86 as of 10:33 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure is poised to drop 16 percent this week, the biggest slump since the index was created on Dec. 31, 1987. Only four stocks gained in the 990 member gauge. S&P 500 index futures lost 2 percent.
All Asian benchmark indexes dropped. Japan’s Nikkei plunged 9.8 percent to 8,264.65. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled 5.7 percent. Today’s slump left the Nikkei valued at 9.9 times earnings and the S&P/ASX 200 at 11 times profit, the lowest for both indexes since at least April 2000, when Bloomberg started keeping track of the data.
Indonesia’s stock exchange is set to resume trading today after a two-day halt. Taiwan is shut for a holiday.