Stocks slump after bad US report

Asian stocks plunged today after discouraging US economic reports unnerved investors already worried about the stability of the 17-country eurozone.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 plummeted 2.4% to 8,660.23, as a strengthening yen battered the country’s behemoth export sector.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.1% to 18,802.45 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.2% to 4,064.40.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 2.5% to 1,798.36. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, mainland China and New Zealand also fell.

US stocks closed lower after a report showed manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic region for the first time in eight months, to minus 5.8 from 8.5 in April.

Readings below zero indicates contraction.

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