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Asia Sells off Amid Middle East Tensions

Asia-Pacific markets sold off as the world awaits Israel’s response to Iran’s air assault over the weekend. Most major markets in Asia lost about 2%.

The Nikkei 225 Index thundered lower 761.6 points, or 1.9%, to 38,471.20, to its lowest level in almost two months. Overnight the yen crossed 154 against the U.S. dollar, its weakest level since June 1990.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 351.49 points, or 2.1%, to 16,248,97.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 index dumped 37.97 points, or 1.1%, to 3,511.11.

On Tuesday, China’s economy grew 5.3% in the first quarter compared with a year ago, faster than the 4.6% growth expected by economists polled by Reuters.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi dipped 60.8 points, or 2.3%, to 2,609.63.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index erased 38.85 points, or 1.2%, to 3,144.76.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index blundered 547.81 points, or 2.7%, to 19,901.96.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 swooned 111.94 points, or 0.9%, to 11,804.84.

In Australia, the ASX 200 floundered 140.03 points, or 1.8%, to 7,612.49.