Asian stocks got hammered today

Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Asian stocks, weighed down by renewed concerns surround the outlook for China’s economy, are trading deep in the red midway through Wednesday’s trading session.

Australia’s ASX 200 fell steadily throughout the session and closed below 5000 points for the first time this year.

Chinese stocks also opened lower and extended losses through the day. The benchmark Shanghai Composite has closed the morning session at 3115.9, a decline of 2.19%.

Elsewhere the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.3% while stocks in South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore were also lower.

The catalyst for the sharp decline in stocks has yet again been lousy Chinese economic data. In September the Caixin-Markit Flash manufacturing PMI gauge slid to 47.0 from 47.3, the lowest level seen since March 2009. The reading was below the 47.5 level expected, and well short of the 50 level that separates industry expansion from contraction.

In response to the weak data print the Australian dollar has tumbled close to 1%, and was trading at .7039 against its US counterpart.

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