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The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average turned sharply lower to end below 17,000 for the first time in over three years on Wednesday, amid continued market turbulence caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Nikkei plunged 284.98 points, or 1.68 percent, to finish at 16,726.55, its first close below 17,000 since Nov. 9, 2016. On Tuesday, the key market gauge edged up 9.49 points.

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