Asian markets fell yesterday after Wall Street closed flat on Wednesday in response to a mixed bag of US economic data, with trade cautious ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke.
The dollar eased slightly from the gains it made in New York on the back of an upward revision of US gross domestic product growth, while the euro was mixed.
Tokyo fell 0.95%, or 86.03 points, to 8,983.78, Seoul lost 1.15%, or 22.16 points, to 1,906.38, while Sydney was off 0.94%, or 40.7 points, to close at 4,315.7.
Hong Kong fell 1.19%, or 235.60 points, to 19,552.91 and Shanghai ended flat, dipping 0.65 points to 2,052.59.
In its closely-watched Beige Book the Fed said the US economy continued to grow at a tepid pace in the past two months, with slight improvements in retail sales and the housing market.
However, the report, prepared ahead of the central bank’s policy meeting next month, said many districts saw a softening in manufacturing, the sector that has been a key driver of the recovery from a deep 2008-2009 recession.
On currency markets in Asia, the euro was mixed after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was “absolute political will” to strengthen the currency.
Gold was at 1,655.30 by 1100 GMT compared with $1,665.05 on Wednesday.
In other markets, Manila closed 0.89%, or 46.41 points, lower at 5,149.31, Taipei fell 0.27%, or 19.71 points, to 7,371.44 and Singapore closed 0.98%, or 29.75 points, lower at 3,011.82.
Kuala Lumpur was flat, gaining 0.03%, or 0.53 points to 1,646.11, while Jakarta lost 1.65%, or 67.59 points, to 4,025.58 and Bangkok fell 0.46%, or 5.61 points, to 1,214.55.