Asian markets dove today, and European exchanges opened down as the Senate abandoned efforts to bail out the American auto industry. The Nikkei in Tokyo and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong both closed down about 5.5%, with major exporters like Toyota and Sony leading declines. The bailout's collapse also delivered a pounding to the dollar, which dropped to a 13-year low of 88 yen before recovering slightly, reports the Financial Times.
London, Paris and Frankfurt bourses all fell this morning, with carmakers from BMW to Peugeot taking major hits. "Markets were calming down, so this is a terrible way to end the week and erase that sentiment. It couldn’t come at a worse time," said a banker in Tokyo.