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TOKYO -- Most Asian stock markets ended Thursday lower, as investors got spooked from an array of regional woes.

In Tokyo,

Prime Minister Mori

faced increased pressure to step down. Many in opposition, and even some of Mori's own ruling party, are concerned over the slow recovery and reform of the economy. The

Nikkei 225

closed down 212.1 points, or 1.4%, at 14,587.0 and the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange

, rose 21.8, or 1.6%, to 1380.3.

Techs and telcos didn't care much for the political uncertainty, as



fell 65 yen, or 3%, to 2,105 ($19.32),


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(SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report

closed down 180 yen, or 2.1%, at 8,340 and



dropped 60,000 yen, or 2%, to 2.95 million.



(TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corporation Report

was one of the day's big losers, as the firm reported slipping profits in the first half after the market close Wednesday. Toyota shares closed down 180 yen, or 4.2%, at 4,110.

The dollar traded at 108.94 yen from 108.18 yen Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Taiwan's


index tanked 282.9 points, or 4.9%, to 5454.1, as the central bank admitted the country's bad loans were higher than the government had estimated. Heavyweight chipmaker

Taiwan Semiconductor

(TSM) - Get Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. Report

plummeted 6.5%.

South Korea's


index fell 2.5, or 0.4%, to 555.0, as

Korea Electric Power

(KEP) - Get Korea Electric Power Corporation Report

fell 600 won, or 2.2%, to 27,000 ($23.71) and

SK Telecom

(SKM) - Get SK Telecom Co. Ltd. Report

rose 3,000 won, or 1.1%, to 270,000.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index bucked the downward trend, rising 171.0, or 1.1%, to 15,298.4 amid very low volume.

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get China Mobile Ltd. Report

rose HK$1.60, or 3.2%, to 51.50 ($6.60).