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Asian markets slide as investors fear U.S. interest rate hike

Soaring inflation forces benchmark indexes across the region to retreat

An electronic board displays Japan's Nikkei index outside a brokerage in Tokyo on June 14. (Photo by Yo Inoue)

SINGAPORE -- Asian stocks retreated on Tuesday on the back of fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve will take a particularly hawkish stance in hiking interest rates to tame inflation in the United States, which is at its highest in 40 years.

South Korea's benchmark KOSPI was down 1.36% at the opening, after closing 3.5% lower the day before, making it a key underperformer in the region. Losses were also clocked by Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, which fell 1.28% at the start of trade coupled with a 3.4% slide from the previous session.

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