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Stocks fall across Asia as Nikkei index closes down 2.5%

Japanese shares cede 2018 gains and India drops 1% at opening

A screen shows the Nikkei average in Tokyo on Feb. 5. (Photo by Maho Obata)

TOKYO -- Major Asian stock markets started the week with steep declines across the board, trailing a sharp Wall Street fall on Friday, which was prompted by soaring long-term interest rates.

In India, the latest major market to open in the region, the Sensex started Monday trading with a 1% decline. Vietnam's VN Index was down 3.2% at one point, the steepest drop for a benchmark in the region.

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