A woman walks past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Feb. 14, 2012.
Asian markets fell Friday amid increasing concerns over the slowdown in economic growth in China as the country's manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in May compared to the previous month.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.32 percent, or 112.63 points, to 8430.10. The shares of Mazda Motor Corp dropped 3 percent, Advantest Corp fell 2.3 percent and Sony Corp declined 2.2 percent.
South Korea's Kospi slumped 0.37 percent, or 6.83 points, to 1,836.64.
India's BSE Sensex index dropped 0.19 percent, or 31.58 points, to 16,186.95. Cairn India, Wipro and Sesa Goa were the top losers while Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank were the top gainers.
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Market sentiment was negative as data released Friday by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing showed that the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.4 in May down from 53.3 in April. The softening of manufacturing activities in May is a reflection of the deteriorating export situation in China, which calls for more aggressive policy easing.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Shanghai composite index rose 0.42 percent or 10.06 points to 2382.29, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.14 percent, or 25.42 points, to 18654.94 on hopes that China would announce stimulus measures to regain the growth momentum.
In Shanghai, the shares of New China Life Insurance Co climbed 1.8 percent and the stock of Haitong Securities Ltd rose 2.2 percent. In Hang Seng, shares of BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd and China Yurun Food Group Ltd climbed 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, the debt crisis looming over the euro zone continued to drag down the investor confidence with the heightening of Spain's banking woes. Also the data from the US was disappointing with ADP employment change being lower than expected and initial jobless claims surprisingly moving higher.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader