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Asia: Markets plunge as Wall Street rout spreads


[HONG KONG] Asian stocks plunged Tuesday after a record-breaking loss on Wall Street, extending a global rout as panicked investors fret over rising US borrowing costs and cash in profits after months of market euphoria.

Tokyo led a collapse throughout the region in early trade, diving more than five per cent, while Hong Kong was down almost four per cent at one point and Sydney sank three per cent.

Dealers tracked their colleagues in New York, where the Dow suffered its worst points fall in history, wiping out all its 2018 gains, while the S&P 500 also took a beating to sit down for the year.

The heavy selling comes after months of surges fuelled by optimism over the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.

While traders have been piling into equities, pushing many global indexes to record or multi-year highs, there has been growing concern on trading floors about elevated US Treasury bond yields - at four-year highs - and the likelihood of fresh Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

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The so-called Vix "fear" index more than doubled in US trade on Monday.

Among other Asian markets Singapore was 2.3 per cent off, Seoul dived three per cent, Taipei lost 3.7 per cent, Manila plunged 2.7 per cent and Shanghai gave up 2.1 per cent.



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