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Asian Markets Slump After Trade Center Terror

Asian markets slumped in early morning trading in the aftermath of a day of terror on U.S. soil.

In Tokyo, trading was delayed by 30 minutes in an attempt to bring order to chaos and institute trading curbs meant to limit losses. While the Nikkei opened down only 1.5%, the losses quickly spiraled. Just after 9:00pm EDT the Japanese benchmark broke through the 10,000 level.

The Nikkei plummeted over 7% to trade just above 9600, its lowest level since 1984. Exporters like Honda and Toyota Motor fell sharply on fears of weaker exports from possible economic disruptions as a result of U.S. terrorism. Trading in Sony was halted due to a sell-order imbalance.

The dollar was also sharply lower, opening at 119.40 yen, down from 121.73 at Tuesday's close.

Other Asian markets plummeted as well. The New Zealand market, the first to open ? where trading was also delayed an hour ? lost nearly 6% of its value near the open. The Singapore market lost 6.4% while the Australian All Ordinaries Index lost 4.2% in early trading.

While many other market openings may be delayed, TSC Contributor Helene Meisler reports only Malaysia and Taiwan have decided to close their markets altogether.

While the Nikkei plunged, the Bank of Japan said it will do everything it can to assure liquidity. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill remains in Tokyo after officials determined travel back to the U.S. would be difficult. However, he has canceled his public schedule and is likely to return home either Wednesday or Thursday.

European markets are currently slated to open at their regular times and are likely to face additional selling pressure. European markets slid Tuesday afternoon as news of the U.S. attacks traveled overseas quickly.

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