Passersby look at a chart showing a sharp drop of Japanese stocks in front of a Tokyo brokerage Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. Japan's stock market plummeted 9.4 percent — its biggest one-day drop in 21 years — Wednesday as investors rushed for the exits on deepening fears over the global financial crisis. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index nose-dived 952.58 points to 9,203.32, a five-year low. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
A meltdown in confidence strangled Asian stock markets Wednesday on accelerating fears that the widening financial crisis could spawn a global recession.