Asian shares plunge after Wall Street's worst day since '87

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A trader has his head in his hand on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The stock market had its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987 as fears of economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis deepened. The Dow industrials plunged more than 2,300 points, or 10%. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Shares plunged in Asia on Friday, with benchmarks in Japan, Thailand and India sinking as much as 10% after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987.

Markets worldwide have retreated as fears of economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis deepen and the meltdown in the U.S., the world's biggest economy, batters confidence around the globe.

Trading was halted temporarily in Bangkok and in Mumbai after the main benchmarks in both markets hit the 10% downside limit. After trading resumed, Thailand's SET 100 was down 8.7% and the Sensex in Mumbai had swooned 9.4%.

Losses in mainland China, where communities are recovering from the worst of the virus, were less severe, with the Shanghai Composite index down 3%. Most other regional markets had lost between 4% to 6% by midday Friday in Asia.

Overnight, the sell-off on Wall Street helped to wipe out most of Wall Street’s big gains since President Donald Trump took office.

The S&P 500 plummeted 9.5%, for a total drop of 26.7% from its all-time high, set just last month. That puts it way over the 20% threshold for a bear market, officially ending Wall Street's unprecedented bull-market run of nearly 11 years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 2,352 ponts, or 10%, its heaviest loss since its nearly 23% drop on Oct. 19, 1987.

European markets fell 12% in one of their worst days ever, even after the European Central Bank pledged to buy more bonds and offer more help for the economy.

“Between the lack of a strong U.S. fiscal response and the latest travel ban for arrivals from Europe to the U.S., global markets appear to have been tipped over into a sell-everything mode," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.