Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.68 percent to fall below 9,000 on Tuesday after the downgrade of U.S. debt’s credit rating sent global markets into free-falls.

As a sell-off continued in global bourses, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 153.08 points from Monday to close at 8,944.48, the lowest closing since March 15. At a time the Nikkei dived more than 4 percent, but it trimmed its losses in the afternoon, awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting and on buying-backs.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 12.47 points, or 1.59 percent, to 770.39.

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