Asian stocks slip after major US sell-off

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HONG KONG: Asian markets ended their recent rally Friday after the Dow posted its biggest single sell-off since February on weak eurozone data and as news of Argentina’s debt default shook the market.

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But the dollar inched up against other major currencies in Asia on Friday as investors predicted upcoming US jobs data for July would be solid.

Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.63 percent or 97.66 points, closing at 15,523.11, Sydney dropped 76.5 points, or 1.36 percent, to finish at 5,556.4, and Seoul dipped 0.15 percent, or 3.02 points, to end at 2,073.10.

In the afternoon Hong Kong was down 0.80 percent, while Shanghai fell 0.74 percent, or 16.26 points, to close at 2,185.30. Shenzhen also fell 1.01 percent, or 11.72 points, to 1,148.29.

The drop came despite Chinese manufacturing activity increasing sharply in July and rising at its fastest pace in more than two years, according to official statistics.

The official purchasing managers index, which is a leading indicator of overall economic activity, hit 51.7 last month—its best showing since April 2012.

In the United States, The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.88 percent to 16,563.30, erasing all its gains since the end of 2013.

The broad-based S&P 500 sank 2.00 percent to a seven-week low while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.09 percent.

The causes of the fall are diverse but a key catalyst was the failure of Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and US hedge funds to reach a deal, setting the stage for Argentina’s second default in 13 years.

French bank Credit Agricole said investors were awaiting the release of July’s US labor market report later Friday for clues about the state of the world’s biggest economy.

National Australia Bank (NAB) predicted US jobs creation will have stayed solid for July, forecasting an increase of 230,000 in non-farm payrolls.

The dollar was at 102.93 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, compared with 102.80 yen in New York on Thursday afternoon.

The euro bought $1.3384 against $1.3390 in US trade while firming to 137.79 yen from 137.65 yen.

On oil markets, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery eased nine cents to $98.08 while Brent crude for September gained six cents to $106.08 in afternoon trade.

Gold fetched $1,283.41 an ounce by 7:40 a.m. local time compared with $1,284.62 on Thursday.

AFP

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