Lifting of sanctions on Iran fuels fear of further slide
Risk of state spending cuts beyond current austerity steps
* The index tumbled 5.4 percent to 5,520 points.
The index sank 4.2 percent to 3,787 points.
* The index plunged 4.6 percent to 2,685 points.
* The index tumbled 7.2 percent to 8,528 points.
* The index dropped 3.2 percent to 4,948 points.
* The index lost 3.2 percent to 5,098 points.
"MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan , which has fallen 10.5 percent in the first two weeks of the year, is within sight of its 2011 low, which is 3.7 percent below its Friday close.
An unexpected drop in retail sales and the third consecutive monthly fall in industrial output in December added to the latest indication that U.S. economic growth braked sharply in the fourth quarter.
Following those data, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's closely-watched GDPNow forecast model showed the U.S. economy is on track to grow 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, slowing sharply from 2.0 percent growth in the third quarter.
U.S. companies' fourth-quarter profits are expected to decline more than four percent, which would be the second straight quarterly decline.
...Oil producing countries have to sell their assets to finance their budget gaps. They are selling shares around the world,"
...Oil prices plummeted 6 percent on Friday, bringing their fall since the start of year to 21 percent, marking the worst two-week decline since the 2008 financial crisis, on fear of over-supply and softening demand.
...In the currency market, commodity-linked currencies took the brunt, with the Canadian dollar (CAD=) hitting a low last seen in early 2003."'