(CNN) -- World markets endured another punishing session Friday as U.S. lawmakers' rejection of a $14 billion bailout for the ailing Detroit auto industry, weakening currencies in the U.S. and the UK and the bleak economic outlook weighed on investors' minds.
Wall Street traders watch the boards as the markets open Friday.
In New York, the Dow Jones closed slightly up -- about 0.75 percent -- after recouping early losses, according to early tallies.
Meanwhile the dollar continued to fall, hitting a 13-year low of 88.16 yen against the Japanese yen.
In the UK, the pound slipped further against the euro, hitting an all-time low of €1.118 as analysts predicted the currencies could be heading for parity. The pound has shed about 20 percent of its value against the euro in the past year.
In Brussels, European Union leaders approved a €200 billion ($267 billion) stimulus plan to help the bloc's battered economy by providing support for vulnerable sectors such as construction and motors.
European stocks in France and Germany rallied a little after dipping more than 4 percent in morning trading. Paris' CAC closed down 2.5 percent and Frankfurt's DAX was down 1.8 percent.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down almost 100 points, or 2.2 percent. Banking stocks were hit hard as shareholders at HBOS voted in favor of a proposed takeover by Lloyds TSB -- a merger that will create a retail bank accounting for a quarter of British mortgages and half of savings.
Earlier, Japan's Nikkei 225 finished the day down 5.6 percent at 8,236, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slid 5.5 percent to 14,758. South Korea's Seoul Composite lost nearly 4.4 percent. Indexes in Sydney, ********* Jakarta, and and Singapore all closed the day sharply lower.
Experts fear the failure of the U.S. automaker bailout plan and the possible collapse of any of the "Big Three" -- General Motors, Ford and Chrysler -- could have devastating consequences for the economy far beyond the boardrooms and production lines of Detroit.