This photo shows the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday evening, Dec. 20, 2018. Stocks went into another slide Thursday in what is shaping up as the worst December on Wall Street since the depths of the Great Depression, with prices dragged down by rising fears of a recession somewhere on the horizon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 464 points, bringing its losses to more than 1,700 since last Friday. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

Asian stocks sink for 2nd day after Wall Street slide

December 20, 2018 - 7:14 pm

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks fell further Friday after Wall Street slid on recession fears, putting markets in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney on track to end 2018 down more than 10 percent.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.9 percent to 20,015.67 points. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.9 percent to 2,512.54 points. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 retreated 1.2 percent to 5,440.70 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave up 0.8 percent to 25,426.24.

The Shanghai index is on track to end the year down more than 25 percent, while Tokyo is off almost 13 percent.

Stocks usually end the year with a flourish. But investors worry global economic growth is cooling and the U.S. could slip into a recession in the next few years.

U.S. stocks are headed for the worst December since the Great Depression.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 464 points on Thursday, bringing its losses to more than 1,700 since last Friday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 16 percent from its late-September peak.

The market swoon is coming even as the U.S. economy is on track to expand this year at the fastest pace in 13 years. Markets tend to move, however, on what investors anticipate will happen further out.

Among other threats: the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, and rising U.S. interest rates, which act as a brake on economic growth by making it more expensive for businesses and individuals to borrow money.

The selling in the last two days came after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the fourth time this year and signaled it was likely to continue raising rates next year.