The Nikkei Index fell 0.6% lower to end at a one-week low on Friday, with investors concerned that U.S. central bank may raise interest rates sooner than expected, but strong earnings from companies such as Sony Corp limited the losses.
The Hang Seng Index fell on Friday as a weaker performance on Wall Street overnight hurt sentiment, while the shares on mainland China edged slightly higher on signs of a pick-up in manufacturing activity.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to open lower for a third consecutive trading day on Friday, tracking the sell-off on Wall Street overnight, while investors are also nervous ahead of U.S. jobs data due later today, which should shed light on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy going forward
Reuters reports that the S&P 500 index dropped 2% lower on Thursday to record its worst daily performance in four months and its first monthly fall since January, as economic data triggered concerns that the Fed could raise interest rates sooner than expected, while problems in overseas economies also contributed to the bearish sentiment.
Business Day reports that the JSE All Share Index ended in the red on Thursday, with gold and platinum mining shares leading the downside on the back of weaker commodity prices, while news that Argentina had defaulted on its debt also weighed on emerging markets, offsetting local trade data for June that was much better than expected.
The Rand is trading weaker at R10.7366 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted at R14.3672 and the British Pound at R18.0841.
The gold price traded near a six-week low in Singapore on Friday. Gold was last trading at $1,283.60, with the platinum price quoted at $1,458.90, while the palladium price has slipped to $870.40.
Brent was last trading slightly lower at $105.97 a barrel.