Asian stocks started September on a weak note, led by Japan's shares. The Nikkei 225 index tumbled 3.8 per cent to 18,165.69 after the release of downbeat Chinese manufacturing data.
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.
Trading sentiment was also hit by a weak session overnight on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq Composite closing 1.07 per cent down, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 lost 0.69 and 0.84 per cent respectively.
"The [PMI] numbers aren't great but they are expected. What's important is we are starting to see more reaction from China like the double rate cut in August. With the one-year lending rate still at 4.6 per cent, there's a ton of room for further traditional moves," Simon Grose-Hodge, head of investment advisory at LGT Bank Singapore, told CNBC.
The Shanghai Composite index was down 1.3 per cent to 3,165.07 while the Hang Seng was off 2.2 per cent to 21,185.43. In Korea, the Kospi index was down 1.4 per cent to 1,914.23 and in Australia the ASX200 index was down 2.1 per cent to 5,096.41.
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