Most major indices in Europe and Asia were off about 3% at 4 AM EST. The drops are primarily due to concerns about debt of troubled E.U. nations, potential military action on the Korean peninsula and worries that the U.K. and E.U. crisis could cause a global economic slowdown.
At the close, shares in Tokyo fell 3.1% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng was down 3.3%. In early trading in Europe the FTSE fell 2.5% dropping below 5,000 and the German DAX was down 2.3%. The pressure on area markets was worsened as JPMorgan Chase downgraded a number of Greek banks. Portuguese shares moved into bear market territory, off 22% since April 15.
"This situation with the Spanish bank makes investors nervous because it raises suspicions that something else may be smoldering behind the scenes," said Hiroichi Nishi, equity division general manager at Nikko Cordial Securities in Tokyo, Reuters reported.
DJIA futures were off 200 points.
Markets Across Asia and Europe Plunge