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Asian Stocks Down After Wall Street Sell-Off


FILE - Passersby are reflected on in electronic graph showing recent movements of the Hang Seng Index outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Asian markets were mostly down Friday, continuing a global sell-off that began a day earlier when U.S. stocks had their worst one-day drop since February.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.9 percent Thursday, erasing all its gains for the year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite also fell about two percent.

Argentina's debt default, the crisis in Gaza, and lingering tensions between the West and Russia are all thought to have played a role in rattling investors.

Many analysts also said the market was simply due for a correction, noting that stocks had become too expensive.

Wall Street's poor performance spread to Asia Friday, though the damage was limited due to better-than-expected manufacturing numbers from China.

Tokyo closed down six-tenths of a percent. Shanghai was off nearly half a percent. Sydney finished down 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong slumped 0.7 percent in late trading.

Investors will be watching closely later Friday when the U.S. releases its monthly jobs report. Economists predict the country with the world's largest economy added around 225,000 jobs in July.

If that prediction is accurate, it would be the sixth straight month of gains above 200,000 jobs. That would be the longest such stretch since 1997.