Asian markets fell on Monday, leading worldwide losses after Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. debt rating for the first time in history.
Markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan each fell 3.8 percent, while Japan's Nikkei Stock Average dropped 2.2 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 2.2 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 2.9 percent.
The S&P downgrade of the U.S. debt rating from AAA to AA+ was "makes people a bit more pessimistic on the long-term economic outlook," Roland Randall, strategist at TD Securities told MarketWatch.
Futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq indexes were down between 2.4 and 2.8 percent Monday morning, Reuters reported. And while world markets trended downward, they were buoyed somewhat by indications that the European Central Bank would implement a bond-purchase program, which would help to shield Italy and Spain. Meanwhile, U.S. gold futures and cash gold hit record highs; gold is usually sought in times of market turmoil.
CNN reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took part in a conference call with G7 nations shortly before the Asian markets opened. "We are committed to taking coordinated action where needed, to ensuring liquidity, and to supporting financial markets functioning, financial stability and economic growth," G7 nations said in a statement released after the call, the Wall Street Journal reports.