Asian stocks lower on weak factory data

<p>Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2 per cent to 20,934.94.</p>

Asian stocks tumbled again today (September 2nd) after the release of weak manufacturing data from China and the US.

A key US manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) for August was down to its lowest level since May 2013, while an official Chinese survey of factory purchasing managers tumbled to its lowest level in three years. 

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 49.7 in August, down from 50 in July. In addition, the final Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) stood at 47.3 in August, down from 47.8 in July.

This comes a day after International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said in a speech in Indonesia that global economic growth is likely to be weaker than expected. 

"Overall, we expect global growth to remain moderate and likely weaker than we anticipated last July. This reflects two forces: a weaker than expected recovery in advanced economies, and a further slowdown in emerging economies, especially in Latin America," she said.

China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4 per cent to 3,155.04, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.2 per cent to 20,934.94 and Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.4 per cent to 18,095.40. South Korea's Kospi ended the day unchanged at 1915.22, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1 per cent to 5101.46.

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