Asian Stocks Decline; Hang Seng Falls 13%

Updated from 12:48 a.m. EDT

Asian stocks suffered wide losses Monday as investors feared a global recession could be worse than expected despite government efforts to stem the crisis.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 12.7%, its worst one-day decline since 1989. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average finished down 6.4% to 7162.90, its lowest level since October 1982. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia finished with a decline of 1.6%.

In South Korea, the Kospi index rose 0.8% after the nation's central bank lowered its key interest rate by three-quarters of a point, its biggest one-day move ever.

Markets in Japan declined despite a government official signaling the government will put together a package of measures to support the country's stock market.

The country's finance minister also hinted at a possible intervention to counter the yen's recent strength. The G-7 said on Sunday it was concerned about the yen's excessive movements. The currency rose to a 13-year high against the dollar last week, according to Bloomberg. The yen rose against the dollar on Monday.

Stocks in Europe were trading lower Monday. The FTSE 100 index in London fell 5.5%, while the DAX index in Frankfurt fell 4.8%, as the International Monetary Fund acted over the weekend to shore up emerging economies across the region. The market selloff in Europe was hitting all sectors, including banks and insurers.

Stock futures in the U.S. were markedly lower Monday after a volatile day on Friday. S&P 500 futures fell 38.50 points to 827.60, and were 47.94 points below fair value. Nasdaq futures were down 46 points to 1145.50, and were 59.26 points below fair value.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 312.30 points, or 3.6%, at 8378.95, and the S&P 500 gave back 31.34 points, or 3.5%, to 876.77. The Nasdaq tumbled 51.88 points, or 3.2%, to 1552.03.

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