Updated from 12:26 a.m. EST

Asian stocks declined Tuesday, with the market in Japan tumbling more than 6%, after Wall Street closed with big losses after traders learned the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 6.4% to 7,863.69.

Sentiment in Tokyo turned sluggish after the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

in the U.S. plummeted nearly 8% Monday with a litany of bad economic indicators.

Stocks in New York Monday plummeted after the National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed what many had suspected -- the U.S. has been in a recession for nearly a year. The session was marked by massive profit-taking following a five-day rally in the blue-chip indices.

The Dow plummeted 679.95 points, or 7.7%, to 8149.09, and the

S&P 500

fell 80.03 points, or 8.9%, to 816.21. The


sank 137.50, or 9%, to 1398.07.

Apart from fears over a prolonged global downturn, the Nikkei index plummeted on heavy selling of exporters on recent gains in the yen, which erodes overseas earnings. Japan's top automaker,


(TM) - Get Report

, tumbled 4.1%, and


(HMC) - Get Report

dropped 6.9%.


(SNE) - Get Report

fell 4.6%, while rival


( PC) lost 3.3%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell more than 5%, while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia dropped 4.2%. Australia's central bank slashed its key interest rate Monday a full percentage point to 4.25% as it tries to prevent the economy from contracting.

In Taiwan, markets were weighed down by a profit warning from

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

(TSM) - Get Report

, the world's largest chip contractor. Its shares tumbled 7%.

Stocks in Europe opened lower. The FTSE 100 index in London slid 1.4%, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.1%.


, the U.K.'s biggest supermarket company, reported its weakest revenue growth in about 15 years, according to


, after shoppers switched to discounters.

U.S. stock index futures were higher, suggesting stocks on Wall Street would bounce back Tuesday. S&P futures rose 4.60 points to 820.40, but were trading 75.07 points below fair value. Nasdaq futures rose 4.25 points to 1098.75, but were 87.12 points below fair value.

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