Asian Stocks Close Lower; Nikkei Falls 7%

Updated from 12:43 a.m. EDT

Asian stocks closed lower Wednesday, with Japan's benchmark index falling almost 7%, on global corporate earnings concerns.

Stocks in Europe also were lower on fears of a global slowdown and after the governor of the Bank of England warned that Britain is entering a recession.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average finished down 6.8% to 8674.69. Bringing down the index were reports that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial's ( MTU) earnings will likely decline and that automaker Toyota ( TM) is expected to post its first decline in annual global sales in a decade this yea.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed down more than 5%, while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia fell 3.4%.

In London, the FTSE 100 index fell was down 0.6%, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.7%. BOE's King said Britain's worst banking crisis since World War I is likely to push the economy into a recession. The pound slid to the lowest level in more than five years against the dollar on King's comments, Bloomberg reports.

Stock futures in the U.S. were pointing to a mixed opening on Wednesday. S&P 500 futures fell 7.40 points to 951.90, and were 3.08 points below fair value. Nasdaq futures rose 7.50 points to 1300, and were 12.39 points above fair value.

Stocks on Wall Street Tuesday turned sharply downward to close with heavy losses, as traders picked through a large, lackluster pile of corporate earnings statements.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 231.77 points, or 2.5%, to 9033.66, and the S&P 500 gave back 30.35 points, or 3.1%, to 955.05. Nasdaq lost 73.35 points, or 4.1%, at 1696.68.

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