Tokyo stock prices nose-dived after the cancellation today of Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu's planned trip to the Middle East because of the Persian Gulf crisis.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues plummeted 1,153.12 points, or 4.22%, to 26,176.43. The index had shed 286.18 points Friday.
The Nikkei closing rate was the lowest since April 1, 1988, when the index finished at 26,104.22.
Share prices finished lower on London's Stock Exchange today, but recovered after early losses.
Investors said the trading day opened amid fears that the buildup of U.S. military forces in Saudi Arabia over the weekend and Tokyo's near-record fall earlier today could send London shares tumbling.
The Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100-share index fell 14.3 points, or 0.6%, to close at 2,219.5, only a point lower than the day's high of 2,220.5 at the market's open. The low was 2,193.3.