The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) - European and U.S. shares fell Monday after Chinese stocks plunged 6.7 percent, raisingmore fears that any global economic recovery could be shaky.
Japanese shares also weakened after an opposition party came to power in a landslide.
Germany's DAX 30 blue-chip index fell 1.1 percent to 5,458.04, while France's CAC-40 was down 1.07 percent at 3653.34. The London Stock Exchange was closed for a public holiday, and trading volumes were light on the last day of August, with no major data releases to give trading additional direction.
The Dow industrials fell 0.9 percent to 9642.5, while the broader Standard&Poor's 500 index dropped 1.1 percent to 1017.71 in midday trading New York time.
Recent dips in Chinese shares have sent ripples throughout markets in Europe and the United States, since China has continued to grow during the world recession. But massive government stimulus efforts have raised fears that China might not be able to maintain its growth rate and help pull the world out of recession.
In Shanghai, the main index plummeted 6.7 percent to 2,697.70, adding to a nearly 3 percent decline on Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.9 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock average lost 41.61 points, or 0.4 percent, to 10,492.53 after jumping over 200 points earlier in the day.
Renewed selling in mainland Chinese shares reflected the growing unease among investors about government measures to restrict the lavish bank lending that has helped send markets surging this year.
Oliver Roth of Close Brothers Seydler Bank AG in Frankfurt said investors were concerned about possible trouble in China after huge amounts of government stimulus.
"The difference between the rest of the world and China is that in China, the huge money amounts that are coming from the central bank are already in the economy, so there is a bubble of a huge amount of liquidity in the real economy and the stock market," Roth said. "And people are afraid of a blowing up of the bubble."
Additionally, political uncertainties weighed on German stocks after weekend election setbacks for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, ahead of Sept. 27 national election, he said.
In Japan, investors tread cautiously after the Democratic Party of Japan swept to power in national elections over the weekend amid frustrations with the ruling party as the world's second-economy emerges from its worst downturn in decades.
After spiking in the morning, stocks fell as initial enthusiasm over the opposition's victory quickly gave way to concerns about its economic policies and the surging yen, which hurts exports. The Democrats are largely untested and there are worries their programs would increase Japan's already ballooning debt, analysts said.
Elsewhere, Korea's Kospi was down 1.1 percent and India's Sensex dropped 1.7 percent despite Asia's third-largest economy picking up pace in the April-June quarter. Australian shares were down 0.2 percent.
Chinese share prices rose more than 80 percent earlier this year before falling back in mid-August. The months long rally coincided with unprecedented lending aimed at fighting off the economic downturn.
Many in China believe that a big chunk of the lending found its way into property and share markets, fueling bubbles in asset prices, though the extent to which such funds were illicitly diverted into speculative investments remains unclear.
On Friday, Wall Street ended the week on a down note, with the Dow falling 36.43, or 0.4 percent, to 9,544.20 in somewhat quiet trade. The Standard&Poor's 500 index fell 2.05, or 0.3 percent, to 1,027.76, while Nasdaq composite index rose 1.04, or 0.1 percent, to 2,028.77.
Crude oil prices fell below $70 per barrell, down $3.29 at $69.45 on the Nymex exchange.
The dollar fell 0.8 percent to 92.75 yen. The euro traded 0.3 percent higher at $1.4347.
AP Business Writers Elaine Kurtenbach in Shanghai and Jeremiah Marquez in Hong Kong contributed to this report.