MANHATTAN (CN) – The Dow-Jones average sank below 10,000 this morning for the first time in four years, off more than 480 points at noon, following stock markets in Europe and Asia that nosedived as the banking and lending crisis spread across the world. London’s FTSE index fell by 5.6% today, Paris’ CAC-40 dropped by 5.9%, and the Frankfurt DAX tumbled 5.2%. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock average dropped by 4.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 5%, and Seoul’s Kospi index fell 4.3%.
European governments were trying to devise plans to keep banks and lenders from collapsing, as in the United States. The task was made more difficult by the European Union’s lack of an international regulatory body for banks.