Updated from 4:33 a.m. EDT

Stocks in Asia closed markedly lower Friday, with South Korea's benchmark index declining almost 11% and markets in Japan falling nearly 10%, as technology stocks declined and the yen hit a 13-year high vs. the dollar.

The Kospi index in South Korea fell 10.6% to 938.75, dropping under 1000 for the first time since June 2005. Economic growth in South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, was measured at 3.9% in the third quarter, the slowest rate in four years, the

Associated Press


Samsung Electronics

, the large South Korean technology company, said third-quarter profits plummeted 44%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average finished 9.6% lower to 7649.08, dipping below 8000 for the first time since May 2003. The losses were led by


(SNE) - Get Report

, which slashed its earnings forecast, and


(TM) - Get Report

, which said sales in the quarter fell for the first time in seven years.

Other exporters were lower as the dollar fell below 95 yen, a 13-year low.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 8.3%, while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia closed down by 2.6%.

Stocks in Europe also declined as shares of automakers, including




, reduced their outlooks or curtailed production. Financial stocks also were lower.

The FTSE index in London fell 6.2% after reports the U.K. economy shrank more than expected in the third quarter. Shares on the DAX index in Frankfurt were down more than 7%.

Futures in the U.S. were indicating major losses for stocks on Wall Street Friday.

S&P 500

futures fell 46 points to 869.20, and were 37.96 points below fair value.


futures fell 58.50 points to 1195, and were 47.19 points below fair value.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks finished mixed as blue-chip stocks rose and technology shares tumbled.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

, which traded down as much as 275 points in the session, finished up 172.04 points, or 2%, at 8691.25. The S&P 500 tacked on 11.34 points, or 1.3%, to 908.12. The Nasdaq ended down 11.84 points, or 0.7%, at 1603.91.

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