The New Zealand share market has continued to slide on Monday, following falls on Wall Street last week.
At the close of trade, the benchmark NZX 50 index was down 103 points, or 3.3%, to 3048 on light turnover of $45 million.
At 5.20pm on Monday, Telecom was down 9 cents to $2.80, while Contact Energy fell 21c $7.40 and Fletcher Building slid 33c to $6.50.
Auckland International Airport fell 12c to $1.90, while Sky City Entertainment was down 25c to $3.33.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down 2c to $1.64 and Pumpkin Patch also fell 2c to $1.28
At 5.20pm, the NZ dollar was buying US66.32 cents, 85.03 Australian cents, 37.42 pence, 69.74 yen and 0.4781 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was 63.90.
Asian markets tumble
Markets tumbled across Asia on worries over the stability of the global financial system.
Japanese share prices closed down 4.25% at a four-year low. The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index dropped 465.05 points to end at 10,473.09, the lowest closing level since February 12, 2004.
The broader Topix index of all first section shares slid 48.92 points, or 4.67%, to end at 999.05, slipping below the key 1,000-points level for the first time since December 2003.
Hong Kong share prices closed down 5%. The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended the session down 878.64 points at 16,803.76. Turnover was light at $HK47.33 billion.
Chinese share prices closed down 5.23% as persistent financial jitters in the United States outweighed news that margin trading would begin on a trial basis, dealers said.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, was down 120.05 points at 2,173.74 on turnover of 47.3 billion yuan.
The Shanghai A-share index fell 126.06 points, or 5.23%, to 2,282.81 points on turnover of 47.2 billion yuan, while the Shenzhen A-share index was down 24.20 points, or 3.75%, to 620.75 on turnover of 21.8 billion yuan.
South Korean shares closed 4.3% lower on fears over the widening impact of the US financial crisis on the global economy. The KOSPI index ended down 60.90 points at 1,358.75, its lowest level since 10 January 2007.
Australian market slumps
The Australian share market closed at its lowest level in almost three years, falling more than 3% on thin volumes due to public holidays in NSW, ACT and South Australia.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 155 points, or 3.3%, to 4,540.4 while the broader All Ordinaries index had shed 158.1 points, or 3.36%, to 4,544.7.
On the Sydney Futures Exchange at 1643 AEST, the December share price index futures contract lost 189 points to 4,566 on volume of 21,886 contracts.
CommSec market analyst Elvina Simpson said losses on the market were exaggerated by the low trading volumes.
At 1648 AEST, spot gold was trading in Sydney at $US831.15 an ounce, down $US9.70 on Sunday's close of $US840.85 an ounce.