NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - European and Japanese companies led U.S.-listed shares of foreign firms lower on Wednesday amid violent anti-austerity clashes in Spain and Greece, as many Tokyo-traded shares went ex-dividend.
Violent clashes in the streets of Athens and Madrid underscored the troubles the euro zone must resolve in order to move forward reforms imposed on both economies.
Euro zone equities had their worst session in two months, with banks among the hardest hit as traders cashed in recent gains in the sector. U.S.-traded shares of Banco Santander fell 4.1 percent to $7.52 and those of Deutsche Bank dropped 4.5 percent to $39.58.
The BNY Mellon index of leading ADRs fell 1 percent and the subindex of European ADRs lost 1.2 percent.
In Japan, about 55 percent of the broad Topix index components passed the deadline for investors to be awarded rights to first-half dividends, drying up demand. The BNY Mellon index of American depositary receipts of Japanese companies dropped 1.7 percent.
Toyota and Nissan are among Japanese automakers cutting back production in China in the wake of anti-Japan protests that shuttered dealerships and darkened their sales outlook in the world's biggest car market.
Toyota ADRs fell 2.2 percent to $78.67 and Honda lost 2.4 percent to $31.47.
The BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs dropped 1 percent.
Major markets in Latin America ended lower, also hit by concerns over Europe, but the BNY Mellon index of leading Latin American ADRs edged up 0.06 percent.
Brazilian steel maker CSN rose 2.3 percent to $5.79 following an 8.9 percent drop on Tuesday, while Mexico's America Movil gained 1.1 percent to $25.43.
On the down side, Argentina's YPF dropped 4.4 percent to $13.09.