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

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. (AP Phot


Shares plunged in Asia on Friday, with Japan’s benchmark 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.

South Korea's Kospi sank 7.8%, Sydney's S&P ASX/200 gave up 7.9% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 5.3%.

Losses in mainland China, where communities are recovering from the worst of the virus, were more modest, with the Shanghai Composite index down 3%.

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 points, 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.

In South Africa, on Friday morning the Rand was trading at 16.60 to the dollar, 20.81 to the pound and 18.59 against the euro.

Gold was trading at $1564.12 an ounce, Platinum's at $775.50 and the price of Brent Crude Oil is lower at $32.95 cents a barrel.

The JSE's all share index closed at 44 thousand 303 on Thursday when it dropped by more than 8%

Additional reporting by BANGKOK (AP)