Asian stock markets fell in early trading Monday as investors sought less risky investments amid concerns over anti-government riots in Egypt.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average dropped 160.43 points, or 1.6 percent, to 10,199.91.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.9 percent at 4,828.60. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.3 percent to 2,079.96.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 166.13 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 11,823.70 as violent protests in Egypt promoted investors to sell risky assets like stocks for safer investments such as Treasuries and gold.

The demonstrators from all segments of Egyptian society have taken to the streets for nearly a week calling for the departure of President Hosni Mubarak.

Jittery investors dumped Middle Eastern stocks Sunday, with the benchmark index for the Dubai Financial Market tumbling 4.3 percent to close at 1,543.02.

In currencies, the dollar climbed to 82.13 yen in Tokyo on Monday from 81.99 yen in New York late Friday. The euro slipped to $1.3583 from $1.3598.

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