World stock markets down in morning trading

Asian and European stock markets have been hit hard again today amid ongoing fears that the crisis in the financial system could trigger a global recession.

Japan's Nikkei Index closed down 6.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down almost 5% and South Korea's main index fell to its lowest level in more than three years.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 4.5% in early trading, the CAC in Paris was down 4.7% and the DAX in Germany lost 5.4% of its value.

Ireland's ISEQ Index was also down 3.4% by 9am, with bank shares all suffering due to the continued uncertainty over the financial crisis.

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