Japan’s Nikkei index closed Monday down 2.2 percent to 9,097.56 – its weakest level since the days following March’s earthquake and tsunami, The Wall Street Journal reports. It's now off 16.5 percent from a pre-earthquake high on Feb. 11.
Asian government officials began the day there by trying to reassure investors that problems in the US shouldn’t prompt a market panic, the Journal reports. Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said "our confidence in US Treasury isn't shaken and we still see it as an attractive instrument."
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