|Asian markets tumble
Asian markets sank on Monday following the worst losses on Wall Street in seven months, with investors gripped by renewed fears over emerging economies days ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Japan's Nikkei, which was the best performer last year, continued its 2014 downtrend as the yen surged against the dollar, while shares in developing countries also suffered selling pressure.
Tokyo tumbled 2.49 percent by the break, Hong Kong shed 2.37 percent, Shanghai lost 0.56 percent and Seoul was 1.70 percent off, AFP reports.
Taipei dipped 1.59 percent, Singapore fell 1.48 percent, Kuala Lumpur was 1.11 percent lower and Manila lost 1.50 percent. Sydney was closed for a public holiday.
"Capital is fleeing equities generally,'' said Hiroichi Nishi, SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities.
"For Japan, the combination of weaker US stocks, a weaker dollar, and heightened fears over a slowing of global economic growth will be enough to send stocks down,'' he said.
In New York on Friday, the Dow sank 1.96 percent, the biggest percentage point fall since June last year, while the S&P 500 plummeted 2.09 percent and the Nasdaq lost 2.15 percent.
US investors ran for cover on Friday as an 11 percent slump in the Argentine peso against the dollar refuelled concerns about emerging market currencies.
Those fears were exacerbated by data last week indicating manufacturing activity in China -- a key driver of global growth -- had contracted in January.
"There is a fear that there is going to be a contagion in emerging-market currencies,'' Maybank Kim Eng head of sales trading Kevin Foy said.