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The Wall Street Journal: Italian ‘no’ vote sends Asian shares lower

Stock markets in Asia fell early Monday, as investors feared the “no” vote in Italy’s referendum on Sunday could hurt the country’s banking system and lead to global contagion.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi offered to resign after conceding defeat in the vote on constitutional reform, sending investors toward safe-haven assets.

The “no” vote could prop up the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement, which has called for a referendum on Italy’s euro membership. It has also advocated breaking away from European Union budget strictures, and moving toward printing a parallel currency.

Declines in Japan banking stocks led a 0.6% decline in the Nikkei Stock Average.

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