Asian Stocks Plunge Again, Europe Opens Sharply Lower

Asian shares have tumbled again at the start of the week, as worries about the depth of the global slowdown continue to hit sentiment.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 6.36% to its lowest close since October 1982.

In the Philippines, the main index fell 12.3%, as the country's second biggest bank announced hefty losses because of its exposure to the US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was down 12.2% in afternoon trading.

India's Sensex index dropped 6.1% to its lowest level since November 2005.

At 8.40am the FTSE100 was 5.19% lower at 3681.66, the French Cac40 down 5.97% to 3003.19 and Germany's DAX down 4.21 at 4114.88.