Asian markets dive on gloomy data
Share markets in Asia have continued to plunge as fresh economic data - from slowing economies to profit warnings from blue-chip firms - added to investor gloom, reproted Aljazeera.
In Japan the benchmark Nikkei index fell by more than seven per cent to hit a fresh five-year low by mid-afternoon on Friday after bellwether stock Sony slashed its full-year profit forecast by 57 per cent.
The company blamed a strengthening yen and lower demand for its flat screen televisions and digital cameras.
The downward revision sent shares in the electronics giant diving by 12 per cent and caused spooked investors to dump shares of other exporters as well.
In South Korea, stocks also plunged after the central bank reported that the country's economy grew at its slowest pace in four years, as exports, manufacturing and services were all weakened.
According to the bank, Gross Domestic Product growth slowed to 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of this year, almost an entire percentage point down from the second quarter.
Meanwhile Samsung Electronics, South Korea's biggest company, said its third-quarter net profit fell 44 per cent from the same period last year due to "the worsening market conditions resulting from the slowdown in the global economy".
The news sent the benchmark Kospi index down by more than 10 per cent to fall below the 1,000-point level for the first time in more than three years.
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, share prices also tumbled with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index down more than four per cent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 down more than two per cent.