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Updated from 12:39 a.m. EST

Asian stocks closed lower Tuesday on the back of job cuts at financial firms and after Wall Street slumped on weak earnings outlooks from several big retailers.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average finished lower by 2.3% to 8328.41. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong declined 4.5%, while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia closed with a drop of 3.6%%.


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on Monday said it planned to cut about 53,000 more jobs over the coming quarters as the banking giant has suffered massive losses from deteriorating debt.

HSBC Holdings


, Europe's largest bank by market value, said Tuesday it plans to cut 500 jobs in Asia because of the global economic slump, and

Taiwan Semiconductor

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said it implemented a hiring freeze.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial


, Japan's largest bank, said first-half net profit plunged 64%, hit by higher credit costs and losses on its shareholdings.

Stocks in Europe were marginally higher. The FTSE 100 index was slightly lower, while the DAX index in Frankfurt higher by 0.4%.

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U.K. bank


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offered investors as much as 500 million pounds ($750 million) of stock that was reserved for funds in the Persian Gulf and said management will stand for re-election next year,



Premarket futures in the U.S. were indicating a lower open for stocks on Wall Street Tuesday.

S&P 500

futures fell 1.90 points to 849.10, and were 0.66 points below fair value.


futures fell 6.50 points to 1152, and were 0.71 points below fair value.

On Monday, announcements of significant job cuts at major financial firms and weakening earnings outlooks from several big retailers brought unease to Wall Street, and the major indices finished with losses as a pile of sell orders overtook the trading floors during the final minutes of trading.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

lost 223.73 points, or 2.6%, to 8273.58, and the

S&P 500

sank 22.54 points, or 2.6%, to 850.75. The


shed 34.80 points, or 2.3%, to 1482.05.

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