Australia's key stock index has opened more than 3 percent lower after anxiety over widespread economic weakness led to another day of losses on Wall Street, the Associated Press reported.
The benchmark S& P/ASX200 index was down 138.7 points, or 3.33 percent, at 4,011.5 in early trading Friday.
Australia is the first major market to open each day and often sets the tone for investors across Asia.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrials plunged 443.48 points, or 4.85 percent, to 8,695.79 after retailers
reported weak sales for October, adding to investors' nervousness.