Asian Stocks Hammered, Europe Opens Down

Nikkei and Hang Seng plunge on grim economic figures
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 5:12 AM CST
Passers-by walk in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo today. The Nikkei 225 stock average plunged early in the day and never recovered, finishing down 6.9%.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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(Newser) – Stocks in Asia plummeted again today as further economic data from Japan and the US spooked investors. In Tokyo the Nikkei dove nearly 7%, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng slipped 6.6% in a massive sell-off of financial and real estate stocks. This morning in London the FTSE opened down 1.7%, as markets in Frankfurt and Paris were also in the red.

“The performance of stock markets these past 24 hours has sounded the full retreat of the fledgling optimism that arose three weeks ago,” said an analyst.