Canada's benchmark S&P TSX shed 118.43 points, or 1.58%, to 6,916.41, after Standard & Poor's announced a decision to expel seven foreign companies from the its 500 Index -- including some of Canada's key blue-chip stocks. Canada's Nortel Networks, Barrick Gold, Placer Dome and Inco will all be deleted from the S&P 500 on July 19.
European markets closed lower, in reaction to Tuesday's slide among U.S. equities. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was off 122.80 points, or 2.70%, to 4,420.10. In France, the CAC 40 lost 162.63 points, or 4.26%, to 3,656.38. And in Germany, the DAX Index shed 179.54 points, or 4.11%, to 4,190.22.
In Asia, the markets finished with losses. The Nikkei plunged 207.59 points, or 1.89%, to 10,752.66. Exporter shares sent the Tokyo market lower in the wake of the Japanese yen's appreciation. In Hong Kong, the market slipped 55.61 points, or 0.51%, to 10,787.54.