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Asian Markets Fall as Poor U.S. Manufacturing Reading Raises Slowdown Concerns

Investing.com - Asian stocks retreated in morning trade on Wednesday as a weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data raised concerns of economic slowdown.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.5% by 11:00 AM ET (03:00 GMT) after protests in the city descended into violence on Tuesday, which marked China’s 70thanniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Hong Kong police shot a protester at close range and fired water cannons to break up the chaotic crowds across the city. This was the first time a protestor is known to have been shot during the city’s anti-government protests that began in early June.

Hong Kong is set to release its retail sales data for August later in the day.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.5%, while South Korea’s KOSPI lost 1.4%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 traded 1.3% lower.

Markets in China and India are closed today for holidays.

Overnight, the S&P 500 closed down 1.23%, with the Dow Jones industrials falling 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.13%. The Dow's 344-point decline was its largest one-day point loss since a 623-point drop on August 23.

The selloff was set off by a weaker-than-expected report on manufacturing from the Institute for Supply Management. The report showed the ISM's manufacturing PMI falling to its lowest level in 10 years.

U.S. President Donald Trump again attacked the Federal Reserve following the release of the data.

“As I predicted, Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve have allowed the Dollar to get so strong, especially relative to ALL other currencies, that our manufacturers are being negatively affected. Fed Rate too high. They are their own worst enemies, they don’t have a clue. Pathetic!” the president tweeted.

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