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Asia stocks down for 3rd day, Japan drops 2.4 percent

Asian stock markets fell for a third consecutive day Wednesday, beset by nerves about shaky global growth, falling oil prices and possible capital shortfalls at major European banks.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.4 percent to 15,699.85 and is down about 11 percent in the past month. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.5 percent to 4,757.90. Stock benchmarks also fell in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. Markets are closed in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea for Lunar New Year holidays. Hong Kong and Korea reopen on Thursday and China and Taiwan resume trading on Monday.

BANK DOUBTS: Investors are questioning whether European banks such as Deutsche Bank have...