Asian markets ended Thursday's session mixed. The Nikkei plunged 269.51 points, or 2.36%, to 11,126.92 -- the lowest close since Oct. 23, 1984. The market was pulled down largely by tech, telecom and export-related shares. In Hong Kong, the market added 156.81 points, or 1.40%, to 11,345.38.
European markets also finished mixed. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was down 12.20 points, or 0.23%, to 5,396.50. In France, the CAC 40 lost 2.64 points, or 0.05%, to 4,809.50.
In Germany, the DAX Index gained 33.83 points, or 0.65%, to 5,254.04, despite a government report that showed German second quarter GDP was unchanged, the first time it failed to grow since the second quarter in 1999. But observers anticipate a further slowdown, with some economists predicting the trend to continue into the third and fourth quarters.
Canada's benchmark TSE 300 index fell 14.23 points to 7524.60 on Thursday, returning to the minus column. Investors had little incentive for a buying spree, failing to receive cheery news from the minutes of the U.S. Fed's FOMC meeting. Eight of the 14 subindices gained, while six fell. The Bank of Canada is expected to lower interest rates next week.