Asia Markets

Asia stocks fall after China PMI; Sony rallies over 4%


Asian stocks declined on Friday following a global market selloff overnight but upbeat data from the world's second-largest economy helped cap larger losses.

China's official purchasing manager's index (PMI) rose to a better-than-expected 51.7 in July, better than the country's 51 reading in June. Meanwhile, HSBC's final July reading also came in at 51.7, which was an 18-month high.

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Attention was also on the U.S. July jobs report, due later on Friday. Economists expect to see the nonfarm payrolls rise by 233,000 and unemployment rate at 6 percent, which would be down from the 288,000 jobs added in June when the jobless rate stood at 6.1 percent.

Global selloff

Wall Street shares tumbled on Thursday with all three major averages tanking 2 percent each while European markets closed at a three-week low as investors worried about Europe's economy, a jump in U.S. labor costs and Argentina's default.

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Euro zone inflation fell more than expected in July and sparked renewed fears about deflation. Adding to the negative sentiment was a sharp sell-off in shares of Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo after the lender reported a $4.8 billion loss. Meanwhile, the U.S. Employment Cost index (ECI) rose the most in more than five years in the second quarter and Argentina's economy minister saying that his country is not in default and is open to more negotiating.

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Nikkei down 0.6%

Japanese shares finished at a one-week low, down for a second straight data and moving further away from recent six-month highs.

Sony closed up over 4 percent higher after the firm posted a surprise quarterly profit on Thursday.

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Hitachi dropped 3 percent despite net profit more than doubling and Toshiba lost 1.5 percent despite profit jumping an annual 57 percent.

China shares mixed

Mainland stocks closed down 0.7 percent following a choppy session and retreating from Thursday's 1 percent rally. For the week, the Shanghai Composite was 3 percent higher.

Financials were among the biggest laggards on the benchmark index. Citic Securities lost 2.5 percent while Bank of Communications closed down nearly 3 percent.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks snapped their eight-day winning streak, down 0.8 percent.

China PMI readings indicate recovery: HSBC

ASX falls 1.3%

Australia's benchmark index retreated from previous six-year highs, posting its biggest one-day percentage loss since March 14. For the month of July, the index posted its best monthly performance in a year.

Banks and resources led the declines. All of the country's 'Big four' banks shed over 1 percent each while Fortescue Metals tanked 5 percent.

Gold miners underperformed after bullion prices fell over 1 percent to a six-week low overnight. Endeavor Mining led losses by 3 percent.

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Kospi 0.1% lower

South Korean shares were weighed down by a near 4 percent fall in index heavyweight . The tech giant extended losses after closed nearly 4 percent lower on Thursday.

Nifty down 1.5%

Indian shares tracked Asia-wide losses while the fell to a three-month low against the greenback.