Stock markets in Australia and New Zealand fell for a second day Tuesday and their currencies continued to drop against the US dollar after a plunge in US and European markets showed no let-up in the global financial crisis.
The Australian benchmark S&P/ASX-200 index lost 3.27 percent shortly after opening. A day earlier, it hit a three-year low, losing 155 points to close down 3.3 percent.
In New Zealand on Tuesday, the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 2.84 percent or 84.15 points at 2,964.23 shortly after midday local time (2300 GMT Monday), a fresh three-year low. The slide follows a 5.84 percent decline during trading on Friday and Monday.
The slides come after stocks in the United States, Europe and Asia spiraled downward Monday, with the Dow falling below 10,000 for the first time since 2004.