BEIJING (Reuters) – Japanese stocks fell on Tuesday and other Asian markets fell after Wall Street's heavy losses triggered by President Donald Trump's attack on the US central bank.
The Nikkei 225 index fell by an unusually wide margin of 5.1 percent to 1,194.45 points. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.1 percent to 2,473.75. Standards have also fallen in Thailand and Taiwan.
Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea were closed for Christmas.
Wall Street indexes fell more than 2 percent on Monday after Trump said on Twitter that the Fed was "the only problem in the US economy." Treasury Secretary Stephen Menuchin's efforts to calm investors' fears seem to make matters worse.
US stocks are on their worst month since 1931 during the Great Depression.
Markets have fallen on concerns about a global economic slowdown, a trade dispute with China and a further Fed rate hike.
Trump's anger on Monday morning increased fears about the economy's instability by a president who wants to control the Fed. Its members are nominated by the president, but they make decisions independent of the White House. The chairman of the board, Jerome Powell, was nominated last year by Trump.
"The only problem our economy faces is the Fed," the president said on Twitter. "They do not feel the market, they do not understand the necessary trade wars, the strong dollar or even the democratic closures on the border." The Fed is like a strong golfer who can not score because he has no contact – he can repeat!
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 2.7 percent to 2,351.10. The benchmark is now down 19.8 percent from its peak on Sept. 20, close to the 20 percent fall that would officially mark the end of the longest-rising stock market in recent history – nearly 10 years.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.9 percent to 2,792.20. The Nasdaq fell 2.2 percent to 6,192.92 points.
On Sunday, Menuchin held a round of calls to the presidents of the six largest US banks, but this move only raised new concerns about the economy.
Most economists expect US economic growth to slow in 2019, and not slide into a full recession. But the president expressed anger at the Federal Reserve's decision to raise the short-term interest rate fourfold in 2018. This is aimed at preventing the economy from overheating.
Shares in technology companies, health care companies and banks suffered some of the biggest losses in sales on Monday. Wells Fargo slid 3.4 percent, Microsoft 4.2 percent and Johnson & Johnson 4.1 percent.
US markets reopened on Wednesday.