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Asian markets slump after U.S. credit downgrade

BEIJING — Asian markets slumped Monday ahead of trading in the United States.

Before American markets opened, and as the effects of the G7 moves were just being felt in Europe, there were signs of pessimism in Asia as markets slumped.

In South Korea, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell about 3.8 percent on Monday — "nosedived" was the verb used by the country's Yonhap News Agency. At one point in the afternoon, which saw shares temporarily down by more than seven percent, program trading of KOSPI Index stocks was halted.

The Shanghai Composite Index also closed down about 3.8 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed some 2.1 percent.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was also in the red, by roughly 2.2 percent.

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