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Asian stock markets were plunging Friday with investors going into panic-selling mode after Wall Street sank on concerns about the health of the U.S. financial sector and the broader economy.
Several bourses have briefly halted futures or program trading as the declines pick up speed, to try and contain the fear spreading through markets.
Markets in Japan are leading the way with the Nikkei 225 dropping 10.8%, under the key 9000 mark and futures sliding 14%; Australia has fallen 7.2%, Korea 8.9% and New Zealand 3%.
The stock sell-off led the Osaka Stock Exchange to trigger a circuit-breaker and briefly halt trade in the Nikkei.
"No one is buying. Fundamentals don't matter any more and there's no explanation for such a plunge," said Yoshinori Nagano, chief strategist at Daiwa Asset Management.
The Nikkei average tumbled more than 11 percent on Friday, poised for its biggest one-day drop since the 1987 stock market crash, on fears of a global recession despite moves by global authorities to thaw frozen credit markets.
The stock sell-off led the Osaka Stock Exchange to trigger a circuit-breaker and briefly halt trade in the Nikkei futures.