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Asia Markets: Asian shares fall, led by banks as investors rattled by Italian referendum

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

However, major markets in Asia pulled back from initial sharp drops.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -0.82% was down 0.8%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX XJO, -0.80% was 0.8% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.69% was off 0.5% and Korea’s Kospi’s SEU, -0.37% fell 0.3%.

“Markets reacted with a fairly calm head, with a lot of water flown under the bridge already” this time around, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

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