Asian stocks slip after major US sell-off

Hong Kong - Asian markets ended their recent rally on 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.

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% closing at 15 523.11, Sydney dropped 76.5 points to finish at 5 556.4, and Seoul dipped 0.15% to end at just more than 2 073.10.

In the afternoon Hong Kong was down 0.80%, while Shanghai fell 0.74% to close at 2 185.30. Shenzhen also fell 1.01% 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.

Key catalyst

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% to 16 563.30, erasing all its gains since the end of 2013.

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

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 labour market report later on Friday for clues about the state of the world's biggest economy.

Brent crude

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 in Tokyo afternoon trade, compared to ¥102.80 in New York on Thursday afternoon.

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

On oil markets, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery eased 9 cents to $98.08 while Brent crude for September gained 6c to $106.08 in afternoon trade.

Gold fetched $1 284.40 an ounce at lunch compared to $1 284.62 late on Thursday.

In other markets:

-- Mumbai fell 1.6%, or 414.13 points, to 25 480.84.

Tata Motors dipped 7.40 rupees to 439.50, Tata Power fell 3.0 rupees to 94.95 while Maruti gained 62.50 rupees to 2 587.00.

-- Bangkok slipped 0.15%, or 2.19 points, to 1 500.20.

Big C Supercenter fell 3.46% to 223.00 baht, while Krung Thai Bank gained 4.19% to 22.40 baht.

-- Kuala Lumpur's main index lost 8.02 points, or 0.43%, to 1 863.34.

Utility Tenaga Nasional shed 0.2% to 12.40 ringgit, while SapuraKencana Petroleum fell 1.2% to 4.26. gained 0.4% to 5.71 ringgit.

-- Singapore closed down 0.88%, or 29.64 points, at 3 344.42.

Agribusiness company Wilmar International eased 0.31% to Sg$3.26 while oil rig maker Keppel Corp was down 1.10% to Sg$10.84.

-- Taipei fell 49.34 points, or 0.53%, to 9 266.51.

TSMC fell 0.83% to Tw$120.0 while HTC rose 2.64% to Tw$136.0.

-- Wellington closed 1.12% or 58.06 points down at 5 109.93.

Fletcher Building was down 2.30% at NZ$8.91 while Contact Energy was off 0.72% at NZ$5.50

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