US Recession Fears Pummel World Markets

Asian, European investors selling off stocks to avoid exposure to downturn
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2008 6:09 AM CST
Chart shows performance of stock markets around the world; 1c x 5 1/8 inches; 46.5 mm x 130.2 mm   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Markets across Asia and Europe fell sharply today on fears of a looming US recession and a lack of confidence in Bush’s $145 billion economic rescue plan, reports Bloomberg. Japan's Nikkei was off 3.9% and the Hong Kong Seng Index fell 3.5%, the most since Sept. 11, 2001. In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 slid 5.6% by midday.

"It's the worst I've ever seen,'' a fund manager in Stockholm told Bloomberg. "The financial system is in terrible shape, and no one knows where this will end.'' US markets are closed today, but world markets continued to react to compounding fears. The Nikkei and Seng have dropped 13% and 11% respectively this month; the Stoxx 600 is down 23% since June. Analysts say markets may rebound as buyers bargain hunt.