Asia stocks decline amid fears of slowing US economy

Major Asian stock markets closed lower on Friday, following the release of U.S. retail data overnight which raised concerns over a slowing American economy. Investors await developments from the ongoing U.S-China trade negotiations in Beijing.

Mainland Chinese markets saw losses on the day. The Shanghai composite slipped 1.37 percent to close at 2,682.38 while the Shenzhen component declined 1.148 percent to finish its trading day at 8,125.63. The Shenzhen composite also declined 0.67 percent to close at 1,389.47..

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.91 percent in its final hour of trading.

The moves came after Chinese inflation data for January missed expectations, coming in at 1.7 percent higher as compared to a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting China’s Consumer Price Index to come in at 1.9 percent higher on year. December CPI — a gauge of prices for goods and services — rose 1.9 percent over the same period.

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