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Global markets slide on grim corporate outlook

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Stock markets in Japan, South Korea open lower on Thursday
  • Dow Jones closes sharply down 514 points to 8,519
  • White House releases details of G20 crisis summit next month
  • Europe's major markets each lose more than 4 percent by close
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(CNN) -- Stocks in Asian and Pacific markets fell in early trading Thursday following a dramatic day in Wall Street that saw a more than 500 point drop.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei was down close to 7 percent in morning trading. In Australia, the All Ordinaries index also dipped, falling close to 4 percent. South Korea's KOSPI was down close to 9 percent. The Taiwan Weighted dipped 3 percent.

The drop in global markets Thursday comes after Dow was down more than 500 points Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 514 points, or 5.7 percent.

The Thursday market activity in Asia continued the slide across the world. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 514 points, or 5.7 percent, closing at 8,519. The Dow had dropped as much as 698 points during the session. Wednesday's point loss was the Dow's 7th worst ever.

"The credit crunch seems to be behind us, and we are shifting focus to corporate earnings and economic conditions, and clearly both are deteriorating," Alex Tang, head of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi in Hong Kong, told The Associated Press.

In Europe Britain's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX closed down 4.5 percent, while the CAC-40 in France finished down 5.1 percent. Will volatility continue, asks Todd Benjamin

Main Street bank Wachovia -- which is due to merge with Wells Fargo -- reported a heavier-than-expected third quarter loss of $23.9 billion.

Internet company Yahoo said it will cut its workforce by 10 percent following net income decline of 51 percent, while pharmaceuticals company Merck said it will lose 12 percent of its staff.

And aircraft maker Boeing said that its earnings had dropped 33 percent through a prolonged industrial dispute.

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Meanwhile White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that the world financial crisis summit, intended to "agree on a common set of principles" for reforming regulation of the markets, will take place in Washington November 15.

President George W. Bush will invite the leaders of the G20 group of countries "to discuss the financial markets and the global economy," added Perino.

The G20 group includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. Do we really need to rebuild, asks Charles Hodson

The event will come after the November 4 presidential election. Perino said it is "too early to say" whether the president-elect will attend the summit.

Steep selloffs were common across Asian-Pacific markets earlier Wednesday, with the Nikkei in Tokyo down 6.8 percent. In Australia, the All Ordinaries index also slipped, losing 3.1 percent.

South Korea's KOSPI finished the day down 5.1 percent, rebounding from a low that saw it shed more than 8 percent at one point. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed down 5.2 percent.

The Taiwan Weighted lost 1.6 percent and in Singapore the Straits Times index was off 4.8 percent. Watch how markets progress

In India, Mumbai's BSE SENSEX had lost nearly 4 percent of its value by early afternoon.

The selloff came after poor business on Wall Street Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 231 points, or 2.5 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 3.1 percent, and the Nasdaq composite lost 4.1 percent.


"The credit market is improving, which is good, but the problem is that everyone is focused right now on earnings as a representation of the economy," said Greg Church, founder and president of Church Capital.

"And while there will be exceptions, the overwhelming number of earnings reports won't be positive."

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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