The New Zealand stock exchange tumbled into the red on Friday in line with global markets in the wake of concerns about debt problems among some European countries and a rise in jobless numbers in the US.
The spotlight had been on Greece and its plans to try and bring its spiralling budget deficit under control but investors are also concerned at whether Spain and Portugal will be able to rein in their deficits.
The benchmark NZX 50 index tumbled 43 points, or 1.42%, to 3104 at the close of trade. Turnover was $55 million.
Fletcher Building fell 18 cents to $7.52 a share, Telecom was down 10c to $2.31 and Contact Energy was 3c lower $5.81.
Auckland International Airport was down 1c to $1.95, while Air New Zealand dipped 2c to $1.30.
Retailer The Warehouse fell 7c to $3.75.
Japan and Australia tumble
Japanese stocks tumbled 2.89% on Friday, ending at the lowest level in almost two months, battered by sharp losses on Wall Street and a stronger yen, which is bad for exporters.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index fell 298.89 points to 10,057.09, the lowest closing level since 10 December, AFP reports.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares lost 19.31 points, or 2.12 per cent, to 891.78.
In Australia, big losses in resources stocks and mounting concern about the health of European economies have driven the share market to a three-month low.
The All Ordinaries Index lost 2.4 per cent to 4,532. The ASX 200 was 108 points lower to 4,514, the ABC reports.
Stocks on Wall Street suffered their worst losses in more than nine months, with an unexpected rise in jobless claims adding to concerns over debt problems in Europe.
The benchmark Dow Jones industrial average fell 268.37 points (2.61%) to close at 10,002.18.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 34.17 points (3.11%) to close at 1,063.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 65.48 points (2.99%) to close at 2,125.43.
The pan-Europe FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 2.75% on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 1% for the ninth successive month.