The Latest: Asian shares log early losses, Tokyo down 0.8%

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Traders at the New York Stock Exchange work as the market closes, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

PARIS – The Latest on action in the financial markets (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

Shares in Asia have fallen, with Japan's benchmark failing to hold onto early gains as investors scrounged for cash amid recession fears.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.2% to 16,691.45 while the Kospi in South Korea sank 5%. Australia's S&P ASX 200 gave up 1.6% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2.3%. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.8%.

Stocks fell in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul in early trading Thursday. Markets have been skidding as fears of a prolonged coronavirus-induced recession take hold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,300 points, or 6.3% on Tuesday. It has now given up nearly all of its gains since President Trump's inauguration.

Wednesday's losses deepened after a temporary halt was triggered in the early afternoon. Even prices for investments seen as very safe, like longer-term U.S. Treasurys, fell as investors rushed to raise cash. The price of oil fell 24%, dropping below $21 per barrel for the first time since 2002.

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