Cyprus turmoil triggers Asian sell-off

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Asian markets tumbled overnight and safe-haven bond yields fell following news EU member Cyprus is to impose an unprecedented bank levy on deposits held in the country.

Nearly every benchmark gauge in the Asia-Pacific region fell as Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades bowed to demands by eurozone finance ministers to raise €5.8bn by taking a piece of every bank account in Cyprus. The bank tax could be levied today if politicians sign it off. However, the shock tax on deposit holders - which includes a large number of UK citizens - sent markets reeling amid fears it will spark a move to withdraw huge sums from across Europe. Asian equity markets took a sizeable hit, with Japan's Nikkei retreating 2.7% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbling 2.1%. ...

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