Global stocks tumbled Tuesday amid investors’ concerns over world economic growth and gloomy forecasts from U.S. bellwether companies.

Major Asian indexes fell sharply after China increased financing for privately-held companies. Compounding investor worries were gloomy forecasts from U.S. industrial giants Caterpillar and 3M.

The developments dampened investor optimism about the global economy, which appears to be slowing after an expansion last year propelled global stocks higher.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund cut its global economic forecast for 2018 and 2019, blaming protectionist trade policies and uncertainty in emerging markets.

The U.S. economy, which investors have viewed more favorably, has also shown signs of weakening. The housing and automobile sectors have faltered, and a report to be released Friday is expected to show U.S. economic growth moderated in the third quarter.

Major U.S. indexes were sharply lower in late morning trading, continuing a punishing month for U.S. stocks. European and Asian indexes were also lower.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was down nearly 1.5 percent or more than 300 points, the S&P 500 Index dropped nearly 1.8 percent, and the NASDAQ fell more than two percent.

France’s CAC 40 Index helped push European stocks lower, falling 1.7 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE-100 Index was down 1.15 percent.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index had plummeted more than 3 percent to close at 806.



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