The dismal start in Stockholm reflected similar developments in markets across Europe.
Shares in every industry have fallen precipitously. Telecom operator Telia Sonera is down 8 percent, while Ericsson is off 7 percent.
Friday’s drop means that the OMXS index has fallen by more than 20 percent in a week and close to 30 percent in the past month.
“This is a stock market crash,” said Peter Malmqvist, an independent stock analyst, to the TT news agency.
“If I compare the developments of the past few months to different averages, I can say that it’s just as steep and dramatic a fall as the autumn of 2002, just ahead of the war in Iraq.”
Malmqvist also drew parallels between the recent fall in share prices and those experienced during the banking crisis of the early 1990s.
The current crisis shares a similarly dire view toward future economic developments as the Swedish banking crisis and the IT crash, he said.
Everyone is asking themselves what it will take to turn things around.
“It feels the same way now. Who wants to buy stocks on a day like today? But somewhere there is someone who is, usually companies themselves who buy back their own stock. And then things can just shift, in some way.”