SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Financial markets across the world continued in disarray Thursday with the U.S. dollar forging ahead, while stocks continued to crumble.
Following a rout on Wall Street, Asian markets tumbled.
"We're now very much embedded with at least two further hikes of 50 basis points on the agenda. For equity markets that really is the end of free money," Damian Rooney, director of institutional sales at Argonaut in Perth told Reuters Thursday.
"I think we probably were delusional six months ago with the rise of U.S. equities on hopes and prayers and the madness of the meme stocks, and suddenly we're going a little bit back to what is reality," he added.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 464.92 points or 1.77 percent to close Thursday at 25,748.72.
The Australian All Ordinaries sank 137.80 points or 1.89 percent to 7,166.60.
China's Shanghai Composite edged down 3.71 points or 0.12 percent to 3,054.99.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 declined 55.81 points or 0.50 percent to 11,177.36.
South Korea's Kospi Composite fell 42.19 points or 1.63 percent to 2,550.08.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dived 444.23 points or 2.24 percent to 19,380.34.
On foreign exchange markets, the high-flying U.S. dollar accelerated further ahead. The euro finally buckled to the 1.055 level and was trading at 1.0468 around the Sydney close Thursday. The British pound slumped to 1.2211. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9946.
The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.3012. The Australian dollar plummeted to 0.6894. The New Zealand dollar was unwanted at 0.6253.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite fell 373.44 points or 3.18 percent to close at 11,364.24.
The Dow Jones industrials tumbled 326.63 points or 1.02 percent to 33,834.11.
The Standard and Poor's dropped 65.86 points or 1.63 percent to 3,935.19.