Claudia Parsons
October 24, 2008

Wall Street joined a global market rout on Friday that kicked off in Japan, led Russia to suspend trading and sent oil and other commodities tumbling on fears of a deep worldwide recession.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

U.S. stock indexes fell around 4 percent.

News of a contraction in Britain’s economy deepened fears of a worldwide recession stemming from the worst financial crisis in 80 years. China warned the outlook was grim.

Foreign exchange markets saw extreme volatility with the yen rocketing to multiyear highs against the dollar and euro. The euro/yen rate fell 10 percent at one point.

Britain’s economy shrank 0.5 percent in the third quarter, and analysts said euro zone figures showed the 15-nation currency bloc was already in recession.

The pace of existing-home sales in the United States rose sharply in September, but a Reuters poll of economists suggested battered U.S. home prices will decline into next year and a possible recovery in 2010 will be meek at best.

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