Asian stocks tumble on weak China data

<p>A manufacturing index fell to 47.0 this month.</p>

Asian stock markets tumbled today (September 23rd) after the release of weak Chinese factory data.

The preliminary Caixin/Markit manufacturing index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers fell to 47.0 this month, the lowest level in six and a half years. 

The survey fuelled worries about the health of the world's second largest economy, prompting President Xi Jinping to declare during a state visit to the United States that China's financial markets will remain stable. He pledged that he was going to push ahead with economic reforms, without resorting to competitive currency devaluation.

Meanwhile, investors reacted to the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. The carmaker cheated the emissions testing with a software installed on 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide.

Volkswagen's stock price tumbled more than 30 per cent in the past two days, while shares of Hyundai Motor dipped 4.3 per cent and those of Kia Motor were down 3.4 per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 2.6 per cent to 21,225.21 and South Korea's Kospi lost 1.9 per cent to 1,944.64. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1 per cent to 3,148.83 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 2.1 per cent to 4,998.10. Japan's stock market is closed until tomorrow for public holidays.

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