A punishing sell-off on Wall Street went to a second day Thursday as investors rejected a U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus measure.
The Fed's announcement that it would begin an operation twist, exchanging $400 billion in short-term securities for an equal amount of long-term bonds, sent shivers through markets Wednesday afternoon. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 240 points between the afternoon announcement and the close of trading.
As markets opened in Asia Thursday, the hemorrhaging continued. Markets gave up 4 percent in Hong Kong and India and 2.7 percent in China. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 2.6 percent.
In Europe, stocks were off more than 4 percent in Sweden, Italy and Germany and off more than 5 percent in France and Belgium.
By close of trading on Wall Street, the DJIA shed 391.01 points or 3.51 percent to 10,733.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 37.20 points or 3.19 percent to 1,129.56. The Nasdaq composite index lost 82.52 points or 3.25 percent to 2,455.67.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 343 stocks advanced and 2,750 declined on a volume of 6.7 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 1 11/32 to yield 1.721 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3469 from Wednesday's $1.3572. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 76.24 yen from Wednesday's 76.44 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index shed 2.07 percent, 180.90, to 8,560.26.
In London, the FTSE 100 index dropped 4.67 percent, 246.80, to 5,041.61.
Overnight, the price of November contract West Texas Intermediate crude oil priced in New York dropped 4 percent to $81.13 per barrel. The price of gold plummeted, listed as dropping $82.70 to $1,725.40 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.