Asian shares tumble after Dow has worst day since 2011


TOKYO (AP) — Shares tumbled in Asia on Tuesday after a wild day for U.S. markets that resulted in the biggest drop in the Dow Jones industrial average in six and a half years.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped as much as 5.6 percent in early trading Tuesday. By midday it was down 5.3 percent at 21,487.87. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 4.4 percent to 30,819.25 and Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 had skidded 2.9 percent to 5,852.20. South Korea's Kospi declined 2.9 percent to 2,418.79 and the Shanghai Composite index was off 2.2 percent at 3,412.37.

All other regional markets were lower.

The losses in Asia tracked the Dow's 1,175 point plunge on today, its worst point drop of all time and its worst percentage decline since August 2011.

Two days of steep losses have erased the U.S. market's gains from the start of this year, ending a spate of record-setting calm for stocks.

Market pros have been predicting a pullback for some time, noting that declines of 10 percent or more are common during bull markets. There hasn't been one in two years, and by many measures stocks had been looking expensive.

The same is true of many global markets, where investors have been bracing for a correction while hoping not to see one.

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