Asia markets hit as Syria fears spark global sell-off

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Asian stock markets have fallen, extending a global sell-off sparked by growing fears of a military strike against Syria.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dipped 2.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.7% while Australia's ASX 200 fell 1.1%.

This follows declines in US and European markets on Tuesday.

Speculation of a strike against Syria, also triggered fears over global oil supplies pushing up crude prices to an 18-month high.

Although Syria is not a significant oil producer, there are fears for the stability of the wider Middle East, which produces about a third of the world's oil.

"If Syria becomes drawn out and becomes a long-term issue, it's going to show up in things like gas prices,'' said Chris Costanzo, an investment officer with Tanglewood Wealth Management.

As well as the rise in Brent crude, the price of US crude jumped $3.09 to close at $109.01 a barrel.

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