Asian markets slipped yesterday following big losses on Wall Street in the wake of weak manufacturing data from China and Europe and downgrades for 15 of the world’s biggest financial groups.
The US Federal Reserve’s light-touch stimulus on Wednesday also weighed on share prices with concerns it will not be enough to boost the stuttering economy.
Tokyo fell 0.29%, or 25.72 points, to 8,798.35, Seoul tumbled 2.22%, or 41.75 points, to 1,847.40 while Sydney fell 0.96%, or 39.4 points, to 4,048.2.
Hong Kong dived 1.40%, or 269.94 points, to 18,995.13. Shanghai was closed for a public holiday.
Fears of a slowdown in the global economy were stoked by figures from HSBC on Thursday showing manufacturing activity in the world’s number two economy at its lowest level in seven months in June.
The preliminary June purchasing managers index (PMI) figure marked the eighth consecutive month that manufacturing has contracted.
And eurozone private sector activity sank to the lowest level for three years in the second quarter, a survey showed on Thursday.
Adding to the gloom was Moody’s decision to cut the credit ratings of 15 of the biggest names in banking, including Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank.
On currency markets the dollar stood at 80.30 yen, from 80.26 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro bought $1.2545, up from $1.2543 in New York but well off the levels around $1.2680 in Asia on Thursday. It also bought 100.70 yen, compared with 100.68 yen in New York.
Gold was at $1,566.80 an ounce at 0800 GMT, compared with $1,586.50 late Thursday.
In other markets, Taipei closed 0.78%, or 57 points, lower at 7,222.05, Manila added 0.21%, or 10.64 points, to 5,120.07, while Wellington fell 0.30%, or 10.19 points, to 3,399.20.from gulf times.