HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks sank Friday as markets took a cue from Wall Street, which had a big sell-off after a batch of mixed reports on the global economy.
The economic picture from the U.S. was underwhelming. One report showed factory output fell, while another suggested hiring would continue. In Europe, the signs were more disappointing, with a report that first quarter economic output in the 18 country eurozone rose a less-than-expected 0.2 percent.
It was enough to give the Dow Jones industrial average its worst day in five weeks and push the dollar lower.
Given that the U.S. benchmarks "have defied all recent headwinds to hit record highs this week, one may ask if the recent pull back is the start of a deeper correction," said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.
Japan's led the decline in regional benchmarks, with Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock shedding 1.7 percent to 14,055.79 as the yen strengthened. A stronger yen makes exports from Japan's manufacturers pricier for overseas buyers.