The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sent Asian stocks, particularly in South Korea, down as uncertainty over regional stability reverberated throughout the Pacific Rim.
Samsung shares sunk 3.6 percent. LG Electronics, the world's third-largest mobile phone maker, and LG Display, the world's No. 2 flat screen manufacturer, dropped 4.7% and 5.3%, respectively and should remain under pressure on Wall Street tomorrow.
Meanwhile, South Korean food manufacturers Nong Shim and Sam Yang Foods jumped 2.7% and 15%, respectively, amid fears of a rush for food supplies should conflict erupt on the Korean Peninsula.
By the end of trading on Monday, the KOSPI ( EWY , quote ) plummeted 3.43%, up from an initial dip of 4.9%. The decline marked a three-week low and the biggest percentage drop in six weeks.
Chinese shares ( YAO , quote ) fell 0.30%.Japanese shares ( EWJ , quote ) were down 1.26%, hitting a three-week low. Singaporean shares ( EWS , quote ) fell 1.55% and Australian stocks ( EWA , quote ) dipped 2.49%.
Further pushing down Asian stocks were warnings from Fitch that it may downgrade seven European nations.
Asian and European currencies fell against the dollar, a traditional safe-haven currency. China's yuan fell 0.16% to 6.3376. The British pound dipped 0.23% to $1.5506. Meanwhile, the euro dropped 0.13% to $1.3024.