- Created on Friday, 23 September 2011 11:33
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Asian stocks have fallen on Friday, with some indexes driving towards their worst weekly losses since 2008.
The drop was triggered by warnings from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank about the strength of the global economy.
South Korea's main Kospi index lost 4.8%, while Australia's ASX shed 1.6%. Japan's Nikkei index is closed for a holiday.
US shares fell on Thursday, after Europe's main indexes lost about 5%.
A number of gloomy comments about global growth combined to sour market sentiment.
On Thursday, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that the economic situation was entering a "dangerous place".
Robert Zoellick, the World Bank President, said separately that he thought the world was in a "danger zone".
These comments combined with weak economic data out of China sent Taiwan's main index sliding by 4% and Hong Kong's down almost 2%.
Commodity markets also took a hit, with copper sinking 7.5% and Brent crude oil futures posting their biggest single-day loss in six weeks.
Global miners were among the biggest losers on concerns about slowing demand for minerals.
Rio Tinto fell 3.3%, after losing 10.8% in London trade, and BHP Billiton lost 2.3% after falling 8.3% overnight.
"Anything sort of leveraged to the global growth story is being sold off hard because people are questioning whether or not we are going to see a global recession," said Cameron Peacock from IG markets.
The negative sentiment weighed on markets despite attempts by policymakers to inject some urgency into their attempts to fix the European debt crisis.
The Group of 20 nations, which is also meeting in Washington alongside the IMF and World Bank, called on policymakers to step up efforts.
"Eurozone governments and institutions must act swiftly to resolve the euro crisis and all European economies must confront the debt overhang to prevent contagion to the wider global economy," leaders from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Britain, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea said in an open letter to France.
France is currently chairing the G20 group.
Separately, the major emerging nations that form the Brics countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - said they may lend money to the IMF and other financial institutions to help ease global financing issues.
Analysts said that concerns about the political and policy response will affect markets globally.
"We'll certainly be caught in the downdraught of negative sentiment for markets today," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist from CMC Markets in Sydney.
"The concern here is that the sentiment is weighing on lending markets and... we could see a freezing of credit markets in Europe."
However, he added that in the future, Asia's better economic growth may help markets bounce back.
"Looking forward there is the opportunity, I think, for a much better performance from the Asian region, mainly because of the superior growth in the economies of Asia."