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Asian markets trade lower in early deals on Friday

All the Asian equity benchmarks are trading lower in the early deals on Friday, tracking the weak cues from US and European markets overnight, while the US dollar extended losses as major central banks indicated that tighter monetary policy is on the way. Investors shrugged off data showing that the manufacturing sector in China continued to expand in June at a faster pace. Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average stumbled to two-week lows after investors turned risk-averse as major central banks signalled that the era of cheap money was coming to an end, which hurt both US and European markets overnight. The Indonesian markets remain closed today.

Nikkei 225 declined 241.88 points or 1.2% to 19,978.42, Hang Seng dropped 210.58 points or 0.81% to 25,754.84, Taiwan Weighted decreased 69.47 points or 0.67% to 10,352.18, KOSPI Index dipped 9.95 points or 0.42% to 2,385.71, Shanghai Composite contracted 5.65 points or 0.18% to 3,182.41, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI slipped 2.68 points or 0.15% to 1,768.68, and Straits Times was down by 27.32 points or 0.84% to 3,231.33.

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