Wall Street shares swung lower in opening trade today, as downward momentum following last week's slide was reinforced by global stock market losses and falling commodity prices. The Dow Jones dropped 41 points (0.37%) to 11,103 while the Nasdaq shed 15 points  (0.70%) to 2,178 in the first exchanges.

European shares continued their two-week decline. London's FTSE was down 38 points to 5,619 just before 3pm, while the Paris CAC dropped 66 points to 4,879 and the Frankfurt DAX tumbled 73 to 5,599.

Dublin's ISEQ index slumped 135 points to stand at 7,445 by 3pm, with just two shares in the black - Elan and Datalex. Shares in Anglo Irish Bank slide 44 cent to €12.10, while CRH dropped 65 to €25.60 and Kingspan was down 41 to €12.50. After reversing an earlier 15% fall, Elan was up 48 cent to €13.79, while Datalex added one to 82 cent.

Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei fell 1.8% to 15,858, the lowest closing level since March 8.  The Hong Kong market was down 3%, while the Indian stock exchange was forced to close for an hour after losing more than 10% of its value, though it later regained some ground.