Global stock markets fell heavily on Tuesday over continued fears about debt problems in Europe.
In Europe: the FTSE 100 in London was down 2.5%, below the 5000 mark to 4938.
The BBC reports the FTSE 100 has now fallen by more than 10% in little more than a month since hitting a 22-month high in April. It is now at its lowest level since 7 September 2009.
The DAX index in Frankfurt was 2.8% lower and the CAC 40 in Paris fell 2.9%.
The Dow Jones Index fell as much as 3%, dipping below the 10,000 mark, but recovered to close down 22 points, or 0.2%, at 10,043.
The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 2.6 points, or 0.1%, to close at 2210.
The falls followed a statement from the International Monetary Fund on Monday that the Spanish economy needs comprehensive reform.
In addition, the euro was down against both the dollar and pound again on Tuesday.
The euro fell by 0.8% to $US1.228 and was trading at 0.855 pounds.
Asian markets also saw sharp falls.
Stocks in Japan fell by 3.1% on Tuesday, hitting their lowest level in nearly six months. Stocks in Hong Kong dropped nearly 3.5% in their biggest percentage drop in 10 months.
Shares in South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, China, India, Thailand and Malaysia were all lower.
The Australian 200 Index closed down 130 points, or 2.9%, at 4267.
The NZX 50 closed down 57 points, or 1.8%, at 3003 on turnover of $64 million.
At 8.15am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 66.99 US cents, 81.03 Australian cents, 46.50 pence, 60.42 yen and 0.5428 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.18.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US66.93 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1197.05 per ounce.