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Asian Stock Markets Spooked by U.S.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business report starts with Asia's stock market spooked by the U.S.

Investors in Asia ran for the exit on the latest news of the U.S. mortgage crisis hitting banking giant Citigroup and the slowdown in retail sales. In Tokyo, the Nikkei Average fell 3.5 percent, its biggest hit in two years. Hong Kong's market index plunged more than five percent, the worst since the 9/11 attacks. Markets from Australia to the Philippines also sank. The U.S. is still a big market for Asian companies. Many of the worst hit stocks were big exporters like Sony and Toyota. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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