Asian stocks fell for a fifth day, led by financial and resources companies, on concern more banks will fail worldwide as the credit crisis deepens and slowing growth will cut demand for the region's exports.
National Australia Bank Ltd. dropped 6 percent as the International Monetary Fund said the world's major banks may need $675 billion in fresh capital. Toyota Motor Corp. slumped 5.7 percent after Nikkei English News said its profit may decline. Alumina Ltd. tumbled 8.1 percent in Sydney after partner Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported a bigger-than-expected drop in earnings.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 2.7 percent to 96.09 as of 10 a.m. in Tokyo, bringing its decline this year to 38 percent. The measure is headed for its lowest close since May 18, 2005. Financial and raw-materials stocks contributed more than half of the index's decline.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 2.6 percent to 9,892.89. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 3.7 percent, set for the lowest close since November 2005, as consumer confidence fell this month the most in more than two years.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index below 1,000 for the first time since 2003, on speculation banks and real-estate companies are running short of money as the credit crisis worsens.
Bank of America Corp. tumbled 26 percent after cutting its dividend in half and saying it plans to sell $10 billion in common stock to brace for a recession. Morgan Stanley, KeyCorp and JPMorgan Chase & Co. slid at least 10 percent as investors shrugged off signs the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates. General Growth Properties Inc., a Chicago-based mall owner, plunged 42 percent on concern it won't be able to repay debt.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slid 60.64 points, or 5.7 percent, to 996.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 508.39, or 5.1 percent, to 9,447.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 4.3 percent to 1,862.96. Fourteen stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
The S&P 500 extended its 2008 decline to 32 percent, while the Dow's yearly loss widened to 29 percent in the market's worst yearly retreat since 1937. The S&P 500 Financials Index slumped 12 percent to below its lowest level since 1997 even after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled he is ready to cut interest rates.
Canadian stocks fell a fifth day, sending the main index toward its lowest in more than three years, as financial and energy companies slid on concern that profits will be hurt by the credit crunch and lower oil prices. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index slid 3.4 percent to 9,886.08 at 3:33 p.m. in Toronto, the lowest intraday level since June 2005.
Brazilian stocks fell for a fourth day, led by retailers and industrial stocks, on concern a deepening recession and widening credit crisis may hurt consumer spending and lower the outlook for earnings. The Bovespa index slid 1,960.96, or 4.6 percent, to 40,139.85.
European stocks swung wildy in volatile trade on Tuesday as fears that banks need additional funding sent financial stocks tumbling. Germany’s Xetra Dax added 0.5 per cent to 5,415.42 and in France the CAC 40 outperformed the wider market rising 1.9 per cent to 3,782.64. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 1.3 per cent to 4,647.6.