Stocks fall sharply after Wall Street blames economy on recession

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Stocks fall sharply after Wall Street blames economy on recession

NEW YORK, New York -- Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday after large falls on Wall Street blamed it on fears of a looming recession.

It's all pointing to rising expectations of an economic slowdown, possibly a recession in the U.S. economy, maybe as soon as this year, says Carlos Casanova, senior economist at UBP in Hong Kong.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 244.87 points or 0.91 percent to 26,804. The Australian All Ordinaries were stripped of 75.50 points or 1.09 percent to close Wednesday at 6,877. In New Zealand, the S&P NZX 50 fell 59.99 points or 0.54 percent to 10,958. At the time of writing, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 500 points just before the close.

The U.S. dollar was strong on Wednesday during the Asian trading session. Around the Sydney close, the euro wilted to 1.0502 The Japanese yen firmed up a bit to 136.07. The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9568.

The Canadian dollar was in a tight range around 1.2877. The Australian dollar gave up on the crucial 0.69 level to soften to 0.6885. Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite was the hardest hit index, losing 2.98 percent or 343.06 points. The index closed at 11,181. The Dow Jones industrials dived 491.27 points or 1.56 percent to 30,946 at the end of the day. The Standard and Poor's 500 retreated 78 56 points or 2.01 percent to 3,821.