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Losses on Wall Street rip through Asian financial markets

Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

SINGAPORE — A stock market rout that started on Wall Street rolled through Asia, driving China's benchmark to a four-year low on Thursday and knocking down indexes in Japan, Korea and Australia. The Shanghai Composite index plunged 5.2 percent to its lowest level since November 2014 and Japan's Nikkei 225 fell by an unusually wide margin of almost 4 percent. Markets across Southeast Asia recorded similar declines. "Equity markets were pulverized today," with investors in "full out retreat," Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. The "latest sneeze" from Wall Street "could morph into a global markets pandemic," he added. Investors are wary of possible further U.S. interest rate hikes, which