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s.korea, japan badly hit

South Korea’s exports tumbled by a third, Australian house prices fell and news of more crippling losses hit Japanese electronics stocks on Monday, all adding to mounting evidence of a deepening global downturn.

In Washington, President Barack Obama will try later on Monday to overcome opposition from Republican lawmakers to parts of his plan to revive the rapidly shrinking U.S. economy by spending nearly $900 billion.

Investors around the world view the plan as a key part of efforts to contain the crisis sparked by a U.S. housing market meltdown that wiped out nearly $14 trillion in global stock market value last year alone, pushed a score of major economies into recession and put millions of jobs on the line.

Underscoring the urgency of more action, South Korea, home to some of Asia’s top manufacturers and exporters, reported a record 32.8 percent drop in exports in January from a year earlier, an ominous sign for Asia’s fourth-largest economy and global trade in general.

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