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Inflation fears deflating world markets

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SCOTT JAGOW: This concern about inflation and interest rates is cutting deeper and deeper into world markets. Today, Asian stocks fell to their lowest levels in months. Japan's Nikkei dropped three percent. In India, the market plunged almost five percent. Taiwan, more than four percent.More now from our Asia correspondent, Jocelyn Ford.


JOCELYEN FORD: Investors' big worry: The US may hike interest rates and that'll slow the US economy.

For Japan, that would mean bad news for its exports. Carmakers share prices plunged. Honda stocks lost more than four percent, Toyota shares fell almost three percent.

Katagiri Takashi is a trader for CLSA securities in Tokyo.

[ Takashi comments in Japanese ]

He says everybody is worried about the US economy, and that the whole world may be entering a bear market.

In Hong Kong share prices fell for the third straight day.

Shares of mainland Chinese companies were among the big losers. The big state oil company Petrochina lost nearly five percent. The Bank of China that debuted last week lost more than four percent.

Analysts said investors are preparing to shift from emerging markets back to industrialized countries, just in case the US raises interest rates again.

I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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