Japan stocks plunge, other Asia markets fall after US losses

Japan stocks plunge, other Asia markets fall after US losses
A man walks past the day's losses, of Nikkei stock index, left, and of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, right, on an electronic stock board at a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 25, 2018. President Donald Trump's attacks on the Federal Reserve spooked the stock market on Christmas Eve, and efforts by his Treasury secretary to calm investors' fears only seemed to make matters worse, contributing to another day of heavy losses on Wall Street. (Yohei Fukai/Kyodo News via AP) (Source: ê[à‰ómïΩ)

BEIJING (AP) — Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank.

The Nikkei 225 fell by an unusually wide margin of 5.1 percent to 19,147.45 points. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.1 percent to 2,473.75. Benchmarks in Thailand and Taiwan also declined.

Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea were closed for Christmas.

Wall Street indexes fell more than 2 percent on Monday after Trump said on Twitter the Federal Reserve was the U.S. economy's "only problem." Efforts by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to calm investor fears only seemed to make matters worse.

U.S. stocks are track for their worst December since 1931 during the Great Depression.

A Chinese man naps at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A Chinese man naps at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (Source: Ng Han Guan)

The market has been roiled by concerns about a slowing global economy, the trade dispute with China and another interest rate increase by the Fed.

Trump's Monday morning tweet heightened fears about the economy being destabilized by a president who wants control over the Fed. Its board members are nominated by the president, but they make decisions independently of the White House. The board's chairman, Jerome Powell, was nominated by Trump last year.

CORRECTS DATE - A man looks at the day's loss of Nikkei stock index on an electronic stock board at a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (Yohei Fukai/Kyodo News via AP)
CORRECTS DATE - A man looks at the day's loss of Nikkei stock index on an electronic stock board at a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (Yohei Fukai/Kyodo News via AP) (Source: Yohei Fukai)

"The only problem our economy has is the Fed," the president said on Twitter. "They don't have a feel for the Market, they don't understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can't score because he has no touch — he can't putt!"

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 2.7 percent to 2,351.10. The benchmark index is now down 19.8 percent from its peak on Sept. 20, close to the 20 percent drop that would officially mean the end of the longest bull market for stocks in modern history — a run of nearly 10 years.

A Chinese man eats his meal at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A Chinese man eats his meal at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (Source: Ng Han Guan)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 2.9 percent to 21,792.20. The Nasdaq skidded 2.2 percent to 6,192.92.

On Sunday, Mnuchin made a round of calls to the heads of the six largest U.S. banks, but the move only raised new concerns about the economy.

CORRECTS DATE - Monitors show Nikkei stock index, right, and the exchange rate between Japan's yen and U.S. dollar, left, at a foreign exchange trader's company in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japan’s main stock index has plunged following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump’s Christmas Eve criticism of the Federal Reserve. (Suo Takekuma/Kyodo News via AP)
CORRECTS DATE - Monitors show Nikkei stock index, right, and the exchange rate between Japan's yen and U.S. dollar, left, at a foreign exchange trader's company in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japan’s main stock index has plunged following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump’s Christmas Eve criticism of the Federal Reserve. (Suo Takekuma/Kyodo News via AP) (Source: ïêåGé¸ñh)

Most economists expect U.S. economic growth to slow in 2019, not slide into a full-blown recession. But the president has voiced his anger over the Fed's decision to raise its key short-term rate four times in 2018. That is intended to prevent the economy from overheating.

Technology stocks, health care companies and banks took some of the heaviest losses in Monday's sell-off. Wells Fargo slid 3.4 percent, Microsoft 4.2 percent and Johnson & Johnson 4.1 percent.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Source: Seth Wenig)

U.S. markets reopen Wednesday.

In energy markets, Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 9 cents to $50.68 per barrel in London. The contract plummeted $3.33 on Monday to close at $50.77.

A picture of President Donald Trump is displayed on a computer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A picture of President Donald Trump is displayed on a computer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Source: Seth Wenig)

In currency trading, the dollar gained to 110.15 yen from Monday's 110.45 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1417 from $1.1405.

A Chinese woman browses on her mobile phone at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A Chinese woman browses on her mobile phone at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (Source: Ng Han Guan)
A Chinese man naps at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A Chinese man naps at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Japanese stocks plunged Tuesday and other Asian markets declined following heavy Wall Street losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the U.S. central bank. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (Source: Ng Han Guan)