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Asia's Markets Sell Off

Europe is also weaker.
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Stocks sank overnight in Asia after a report on China's economy boosted worries that the nation's government will hike rates in order to slow down the pace of expansion.

China's first-quarter growth rate of 11.1% was ahead of the already lofty consensus expectation of 10.4%, according to


. Mainland China's CSI 300 Index plunged 4.7% to 3150 following the data.

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That weakness spilled over, as Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2.3% to about 20,300, and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 1.7% to 17,372.

Elsewhere, Taiwan's Taiex and South Korea's Kospi both dropped 1.4%. Singapore's Straits Times Index tumbled 3.2% to 3291, and India's Sensex shed 0.4% to 13,620. Australia's All Ordinaries Index gave back 1.1% to 6148.

When Europe's markets opened Thursday, the selling pressure continued. London's FTSE 100 edged down 0.1% to 6445, and Frankfurt's Xetra DAX declined 0.7% to 7232. The Cac 40 in Paris was weaker by 0.3% at 5818.

Milan's MIB 30 was down 0.7% at 42,836, the Stockholm 30 fell 0.5% to 1265, and the Swiss Market Index was lower by 0.3% at 9248.

As for the Americas, Canada's S&P/TSX Composite surrendered 1% to 13,571. Mexico's Bolsa was down 0.6% at 29,370 and Brazil's Bovespa eased 0.4% to 48,512.