Dow Jones opens down 89 points after Asian markets crash

(Source: Yahoo! Finance)

* US markets open down
* Japan's Suga sees no reason to change economic policy

* European stocks fall on open and Japan's finance minister Amari expected to speak

The Nikkei 225 has dumped, with a fall of 7.32 per cent. The fall was driven by comments on QE tapering by US Fed chair Bernanke yesterday and disappointing Chinese factory activity which, measured by the purchasing managers index, fell for the first time in seven months.

The Chinese index sunk from 50.4 to 49.6, suggesting that the sector is now contracting (a figure below 50 implies contraction). Analysts had forecasted an improvement to 50.5.

Before trading the the Nikkei was up 50.33 per cent year to date, but a turbulent day of trading eventually saw Nikkei 225 futures were halted in Osaka.

Market losses have been stubborn throughout the day. The FTSE100 was expected to fall as much as 1.7 per cent according to futures markets, and plunged by 120 points on open. French and Italian indexes dropped by over two per cent. At the open of US markets, the Dow sunk by 89 points with the Nasdaq seeing losses of over a percentage point.

Japan's Yoshihide Suga refused to comment on the Nikkei's falls, but said that the recent stock price rises had been unprecedented. The minister did not think that the moves would hamper Abenomics, and sees no change in the government's economic policy.

Japan's TOPIX index crashed by 6.9 per cent, its biggest fall since March 2011 after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The biggest falls were seen in property stocks, with double digit percentage drops. Japanese finance minister Akira Amari will be speaking at 09.00.