Stock markets across the globe followed Wall Street's lead on Friday, with investors fleeing to so-called "safe havens" and dumping riskier assets.
The Nikkei 225 finished its worst trading week since March 2011 as stocks slipped 2.38 percent on Friday, dropping below 14,000 points for the first time since October. In Europe, the German DAX sank 1.4 percent by mid-morning with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 losing 1.2 percent.
Read MoreStocks could continue to lose ground
U.S. stocks fell on Friday, extending losses after the prior day's rout, as JPMorgan Chase posted disappointing earnings. JPMorgan led declines on the S&P 500 after the bank posted first-quarter earnings below expectations
"The capital markets are confused and are confusing," commodities investor Dennis Gartman said in a research note on Friday morning. He added that "safety" has become the dominant investment theme as the "music in the capital markets seems to be ending for a while."
The selloff began Thursday afternoon in the U.S. with momentum stocks suddenly sinking after several weeks of volatility. Momentum stocks are fast-rising stocks which can unexpectedly reverse when investors fear they have overshot and a bubble is brewing. High-flying technology and biotech shares led the declines as the Nasdaq Composite posted its worst session in more than two years.