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Asian shares join global slide in early trading

August 18, 2011 |  6:28 pm

Asian Stocks
Asian stocks fell in early trading Friday after steep losses in European and U.S. markets over intensifying debt concerns and poor economic data.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.1% shortly after opening, South Korea's Kospi was off 4% and Australia's SP/ASX 200 dropped 2.6%.

Analysts said Asian investors were concerned about U.S. data that showed declining home resales and business activity.

"Investors have been spooked by these data. They are now focusing on next week's data such as U.S. GDP," Yumi Nishimura, a senior market analyst at Daiwa Securities, told Reuters. "Retail investors may buy defensive stocks on dips, but such buying may not have an impact on the overall index."  

-- David Pierson

Photo: Foreign currency dealers talk at the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul on Monday. Credit: Truth Leem / Reuters