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Asian stocks hit amid rising Russia-Ukraine tensions

Expected Fed tightening also weighing on equities

Asian equity markets dropped on Tuesday as fears Russia could invade Ukraine overshadowed the global economy. (Source photos by European Press/AP and AP) 

TOKYO -- Asian equity markets were hit on Tuesday as growing fears of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine dampened investors' appetite for risk.

Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average at one point dropped nearly 700 points, or 2.5%, to its lowest intraday level since December 2020 before closing down 1.7% at 27,131.  The broader Topix index also fell 1.7%, with shares in a wide range of industries declining sharply. E-commerce giant Rakuten Group and employment services provider Recruit Holdings both lost over 7%.

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