Rout in Global Markets Extends to Europe བོད་སྐད།

Stock prices around the world have fallen drastically on concern the global financial crisis is worsening.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index plummeted nearly seven percent (570 points) Thursday, after Japan reported its exports fell to a six-year low, in part, to decreased demand from the United States.

Stocks in Europe were lower during midday trading. The CAC-40 in Paris was down more than two percent as French President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a $25 billion government fund to help struggling French companies.

A new report from the United States shows the number of people signing up for unemployment compensation hit a 16-year high last week. Earlier, Federal Reserve experts predicted the unemployment rate would rise more, above seven percent next year.

Thursday's global sell-off follows Wednesday's major losses in the U.S. The Dow Jones lost five percent by the closing bell, while the Standard and Poors 500 plunged more than six percent - the lowest for both indexes since 2003.

The markets fell on news Wednesday that U.S. consumer prices fell by one percent last month, the biggest drop since 1947.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.