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RTS index falls 2.9% to 1850 points, MICEX index down 4.1% -3

(Recasts, adds paragraphs 2, 9-13)

MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Trading System (RTS) index, which is the benchmark index of Russia's stock market, fell Wednesday 2.94% to 1850.09 points, while the MICEX index fell 4.14% to 1682.12 points.

As of 1:45 p.m. Moscow time (10:45 a.m. GMT) the RTS index slightly recovered to 1867.09 points (2.05%).

Most Russian blue chips fell 2-3%.

Main European indexes fell about 3 percent and stock markets across Asia tumbled amid investor fears about possible slowdowns in the Chinese and U.S. economies.

Shares in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines all plunged more than 3 percent in morning trading following overnight losses on Wall Street.

Investors were also unsettled by comments from former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said a recession in the U.S. was "possible" later this year.

Boris Alyoshin, head of Russia's Federal Industry Agency, said that the fall could have a negative effect on the Russian economy.

"Insofar as Russian money is invested in international [financial] markets, there could be an impact," he said.

Russian market watchers say there is still hope that it will bounce back, but the "spring rally" is likely to be delayed indefinitely.

Yevgeny Tupikin, senior financial analyst with BrokerCreditService, said such a strong downward movement indicates that this is not a one-day correction and that it could continue for the time being.

Yelena Chernoletskaya, head of the analysis department at the European Trust Bank, said the market will not be able to "get off lightly."

"The most negative outcome is that trust in emerging markets has been further eroded," she said, adding no influx of foreign capital should be expected in the foreseeable future.

According to FK Uralsib analysts, the fall of world indexes was the result of market "bubbles" and will ultimately help "sanitize" the market.

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