Asian markets take a dive as panic spreads

The world financial markets continued to tumble early Tuesday morning, as stock markets in Asia opened sharply lower.

South Korea’s market fell 5.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s main market index was down 6 percent. The Nikkei 225 Inex in Japan was down 2.7 percent. Taiwan, Australia and Indonesia also fell. If stocks keep falling around the world, that could undermine the confidence that is crucial to any recovery in the U.S. and in tech stocks.

And if the market meltdown keeps spreading, the malaise is likely to take a toll on tech spending, as consumer purchases of all goods typically fall in a recession, as we saw in 2008-2009.

While the U.S. and Europe are the source of economic fears, investors in Asia seemed to ignore the fact that most of the region is in good health.

Bloomberg said the decline has now wiped out $7.8 trillion in stock value in the past two weeks. Gold prices have risen to above $1,748 an ounce as investors seek safe havens. The Japanese yen and the Swiss franc are also rising.