Asian stocks down on weak US and China data

<p>Investors are worried about the future of the global economy.</p>

Asian stocks edged down today (February 2nd) after the release of downbeat economic data in China and the US.

A survey showed activity in China's manufacturing sector shrank in January for the first time in more than two year, coming in at 49.8 and surprising market watchers who were expecting expansion. China's final HSBCPurchasing Managers' Index (PMI) also fell to 49.7, indicating a contraction. 

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that US economic growth slowed sharply to a less-than-expected 2.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index tumbled 2.6 per cent at 3,128.3 while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index slipped 0.1 per cent to 24,484.74.

Japan's key Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5 per cent at 17,587.29. However, Australia's ASX gained 0.66 per cent to finish at 5,625.34 and the South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.2 per cent at 1,952.68.

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