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News that the Treasury plans to start distributing money to major banks this week is offering investors some room for optimism, even as economic worries remain. But investors are worried that the credit crisis has hurt the world's economy.
A surge in the yen illustrated investors' nervousness about how much economic activity could slow. Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped to its lowest close in 26 years as investors worried that the high yen will hurt Japanese exports and further disrupt economic activity. The currency moved to the 93 yen level and near 13-year highs. The yen is seen as a safe haven holding for investors who contend the Japanese economy will fare better in a global recession.
The Nikkei fell 6.4 percent to its lowest level since October 1982, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 12.7 percent, its lowest finish in more than four years and its biggest single-session drop since 1991.
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