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Nikkei Plunge Causes Jitters In Global Markets

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a big dive in Japan.

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WERTHEIMER: Tokyo's Nikkei Index plunged more than six percent by the time Japan's markets closed today. That sent shockwaves through global stocks and currency markets.

Just three weeks ago, Japanese stocks were at a multi-year high - raising hopes for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to revitalize the world's third-largest economy. Since then the market has dropped over 20 percent.

Analysts say this is due in part to investor fears that both Japan and the U.S. will slow stimulus spending. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.