Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 99.82 points, or 1.40%, to 7,020.98, after WorldCom disclosed one of the largest frauds in corporate history. The news slammed the technology and telecommunications sectors. Still, gains in gold helped to limit losses.
European markets fell sharply.
In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index is down 100 points, or 2.16%, to 4,531 as part of the global selloff triggered by WorldCom accounting scandal in the U.S.
France's CAC 40 is off 65.27 points, or 1.73%, to 3,701.13 in reaction to the WorldCom scandal. Bonds are higher in a flight to safety.
Germany's DAX index was down 103.92 points, or 2.47%, to 4,099.05 in reaction to the WorldCom earnings misstatement. Many traders are worried that the euro's rise to the $0.9892 level against the dollar and potentially higher could stunt German export growth, further restrain struggling economic recovery.
Asia markets finished down. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index finished off 422.11 points, or 4.02%, to close at 10,074.56 due to futures-led selling amid worsening sentiment in the wake of lower-than-estimated earnings from Micron Technology and an earnings restatement from WorldCom.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index ended down 253.06 points, or 2.39%, to close at 10,355.92.