Asia falls, Europe drifts on Wall Street drop

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — Japanese stocks led most Asian benchmarks lower Friday while European stocks drifted in lackluster early trading after Wall Street's worst day since July, as investors awaited the latest economic data on the world's largest economy.

KEEPING SCORE: European stocks were mixed in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 edged 0.2 percent lower to 6,628.37 while Germany's DAX dipped fell 0.2 percent to 9,492.25. France's CAC 30 edged up 0.1 percent to 4,361.25. U.S. stocks were set for a flat open, with Dow futures adding 0.1 percent to 16,915.00 while S&P 500 futures were up less than 0.1 percent to 1,962.30.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 led most Asian benchmarks lower, falling 0.9 percent to close at 16,229.86. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.1 percent to 2,031.64 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 23,678.41. The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.1 percent to 2,347.72. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.3 percent to 5,321.00. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand also slipped.

GERMAN CONFIDENCE: Investor sentiment was weighed down after a survey found that consumer confidence in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell further on concern about the Ukraine conflict and broader weakness on the continent.

U.S. DATA: With few major economic reports in Asia, investors were awaiting data points on the world's biggest economy later in the day, when the government releases its final estimate of U.S economic growth for the April-June quarter. That is accompanied by the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 109.00 yen from 108.56 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro fell to $1.2750 from $1.2760.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil for November delivery lost 12 cents to $92.42 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile exchange. The contract fell 27 cents to close at $92.53 on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 34 cents to $96.66 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.