Dubai Fallout Sends Stock Markets Lower

International stock markets are down Friday. Asian stock markets plummeted nearly 5 percent as fears mount over the fallout from Dubai's massive debt problems. Investors have cut back their riskier bets on equities and commodities.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with the slide in world markets today.

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INSKEEP: This appears to be a follow-up to Dubai's debt problems. We told you yesterday about that city by the Persian Gulf, which is now asking for more time for its real estate developers to pay back their debts. Markets everywhere took that news badly. American stocks initially dropped more than 2 percent this morning, although it had come back somewhat later in the morning.

Major Asian stock indexes were down much more sharply. In Hong Kong and South Korea, they were off nearly 5 percent. European stocks took a big hit before appearing to stabilize. Investors are concerned that banks may not be repaid for big loans they made to Dubai.

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