SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - It was a bloody day on Asian markets on Thursday following gyrations on U.S. markets overnight.
A statement issued by the Federal Reserve following their monthly two-day FOMC meeting has unnerved markets around the world. The statement foreshadowed a quarter-of-a-percent interest rate hike, possibly as early as March. The irony is the potential policy shift was universally expected.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shattered, losing 841.03 points or 3.11 percent to close Thursday at 26,170.30.
The Australian All Ordinaries fell 133.60 points or 1.84 percent to 7,114.50.
China's Shanghai Composite dropped 61.42 points or 1.78 percent to 3,394.25.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 482.90 points or 1.99 percent to 23,807.04.
As stocks fell, the U.S. dollar gained in Asian markets. The euro slumped to 1.1219 around the Sydney close. The British pound weakened to 1.3426. The Japanese yen slid to 114.72. The Swiss franc was unwanted at 0.9248.
The Canadian dollar declined to 1.2721. The Australian dollar fell to 0.7071. The New Zealand dollar was sharply lower at 0.6604.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones lost 129.61 points or 0.38 percent at 34,168.01, despite being UI[ more than 500 points at one stage.
The Nasdaq ended a tumultuous session flat, notching up a 2.82 points or 0.02 percent gain to close at 13,542.12. It had earlier been up more than 400 points.
The Standard and Poor's 500 dipped 5.52 points or 0.15 percent to 4,349.93.