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Asian stocks down as Europe debt crisis boils
Asian stocks down as German leader lowers expectations for debt crisis fix, China growth eases
By The Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) ' Asian stock markets tumbled Tuesday after China's robust economic growth slowed and German leaders warned that a comprehensive solution to Europe's debt crisis may not be near.

Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.5 percent to 8,742.57 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng plunged 3.5 percent to 18,226.75. South Korea's Kospi fell 1.5 percent to 1,836.50.

Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines were also lower.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.3 percent to 2,408.27. The government announced that growth declined to 9.1 percent in the three months through September, down from 9.5 percent the previous quarter.

While the government said the slippage was in line with efforts to bring economic growth to a more sustainable level, any slowdown ' intentional or not ' could weigh on the global economic recovery.

Expectations that a solution to the European crisis could be reached at a European summit in Brussels this weekend helped lift stocks last week. But stock markets in Europe and the U.S. tumbled Monday after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said those expectations were too optimistic.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 2.1 percent to close at 11,397. The S&P 500 index lost 1.9 percent to 1,200.86. The Nasdaq composite index fell 2 percent to 2,614.92.

A batch of weak corporate earnings reports also pulled stocks lower, while news on the U.S. economy was mixed. A measure of U.S. industrial production rose for a third month, but a gauge of New York area manufacturing fell more than Wall Street expected.

Concerns about a messy default by the Greek government have been the main cause behind many of the big swings on the world's stock markets lately.

The fear is that a default would cause deep losses for European banks that hold Greek bonds. That could lead to a freeze in lending between banks and escalate into another financial crisis similar to the one that occurred in 2008 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was down 27 cents to $86.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 42 cents to finish at $86.38 per barrel on Monday on the Nymex.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3783 from $1.3742 late Monday in New York. The dollar slipped to 76.79 yen from 76.82 yen.

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