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TOKYO -- Asian equity markets closed lower Tuesday, amid continuing concern over events in the Middle East and a renewed bout of weakness for the region's technology shares.

In Tokyo, the

Nikkei 225

closed down 172.1, or 1.1%, at 15,340.2 and the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange

, fell 13.3, or 0.9%, to end the day at 1438.2. Japanese tech shares, which had received a bounce from a surging

Nasdaq Composite Index

last week, quickly had the wind drawn from their sails after the index

sputtered Monday.




fell 30 yen, or 1.3%, to 2,245 ($20.76),



dropped 70 yen, or 3.1%, to 2,220 and

Sanyo Electric


closed down 13 yen, or 1.3%, to 983.

Telcos, however, were able to detach themselves from the tech gloom, as

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone


rose 10,000 yen, or 0.9%, to 1.1 million and wireless operator



closed up 10,000 yen, or 0.3%, to 3.18 million.

The dollar was trading higher at 108.15 yen from 107.85 yen Monday.

Elsewhere, South Korea's stock market got hammered as

Hyundai Electronics

plummeted nearly 15%, after reporting third-quarter earnings. The


index tanked 37.3, or 6.8%, to 512.9. In Hong Kong, the

Hang Seng

index fell 99.9, or 0.7%, to 14,873.4, as

China Mobile


fell HK$0.50, or 1%, to 50.75 ($6.51).

Taiwan's stock market continued to play the black sheep by moving in the opposite direction from the rest of the region. The


index closed up 71.4, or 1.3%, at 5702.4, as the government supported the markets with its $16 billion stabilization fund.