Asian and Arabian Gulf stock markets declined yesterday as investor focus returned to Europe's worsening debt crisis even as data from China's manufacturing industry signalled a recovery.
Investor sentiment was dampened after Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday lowered its outlook on Germany's credit rating to negative from stable.
Japan's Nikkei Index declined 1.4 per cent to 8,365.90. Korea's Topix Index fell 1.5 per cent to 706.46, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.1 per cent to 18,877.30.
HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index, which offers a benchmark of manufacturing activity, rose to 49.5 from 48.2. Typically, figures above 50 indicate growth.
In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped 0.02 per cent to 2,464.04, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 0.29 per cent to 1,500.64.
Arabtec Holding, one of the region's biggest developers, lost 0.3 per cent to Dh2.89. Dubai Islamic Bank fell 0.5 per cent to Dh1.89.
"The overall underlying picture in Europe is what is causing a drag on markets currently," said Julian Bruce, the director of institutional sales trading based in Dubai at EFG Hermes.
Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's measure fell 0.6 per cent to 5,751.27; Bahrain's index added 0.1 per cent to 1,109.77; Oman's MSM 30 Index fell 0.2 per cent to 5,400.02; Qatar's QE Index slipped 0.2 per cent to 8,232.01.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index lost0.05 per cent to 6,666.80.
iPad users can read the digital edition of business section as it was printed via our e-reader app.†Click here