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Asia: Markets tumble after disappointing US earnings

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[HONG KONG] Asian markets were down across the board on Friday after disappointing US earnings and a bearish outlook on hopes for a Fed rate cut weighed on Wall Street overnight.

Tesla and American Airlines both suffered bruising declines after posting quarterly results, while Amazon reported a slowdown in earnings growth as it ramped up one-day delivery operations.

American stocks had been bolstered in recent weeks by expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next week.

But strong American economic data, including Thursday's report showing an increase in durable goods sales in June, has investors fearing a less dovish Fed announcement.

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Market voices on:

"Markets are getting nervous that Fed could disappoint next week," said Oanda senior market analyst Edward Moya.

Recent data also showed that Washington's long-running trade war with Beijing was "not having a terrible impact" on the American economy, he added, tempering hopes of a sizeable rate cut.

Tokyo was down 0.5 per cent at the break as investors went into profit-taking mode ahead of the weekend.

Japan's SoftBank Group was down 0.1 per cent after it announced a new US$108-billion fund to drive investment in artificial intelligence.

Beleaguered automaker Nissan was off 2.6 per cent after announcing a 95-per cent plunge in quarterly net profit and the shedding of 12,500 jobs on Thursday.

Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest slipped after a 20.2-per cent surge Thursday on better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Hong Kong fell by 0.5 per cent and Shanghai dropped 0.2 per cent while Taiwan and Singapore were both down.

Sydney pared Thursday's gains on the back of central bank chief Philip Lowe hinting at further rate cuts, after Australia's competition watchdog called for measures to better police internet giants Google and Facebook.

EURO IN FLUX 

On currency markets, the euro hit two-year lows before rallying Thursday after the European Central Bank signalled it could soon undertake new stimulus measures and cut rates to boost flagging growth and inflation in Europe.

Bank chief Mario Draghi's statement had put a drag on European stocks, said National Australia Bank's Rodrigo Catril.

"The lack of detail alongside a lack of urgency, notwithstanding an explicit acknowledgement of things getting worse, looks to have disappointed the market," he said.

European stocks fell, with investors focused on the region's tepid outlook.

AFP