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Asian Stocks Fall Following Losses on Wall Street

Investing.com - Asian stocks traded lower in morning trade on Friday following losses on Wall Street overnight.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both slipped 0.2% by 10:36 PM ET (02:36 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.5% after after the city reported that it saw its biggest annual drop in exports in almost three and a half years in June.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was also down 0.5%. Softbank Group Corp. (T:9984) received some focus after the company announced a second Vision Fund aimed at investing in technology firms.

SoftBank said it plans to invest $38 billion in the fund, and has secured memoranda of understanding for about a total of $108 billion from companies including Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed lower as concerns rose that the Federal Reserve might be less aggressive than expected on monetary policy next week.

In a speech following the European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate and monetary policy decisions, President Mario Draghi sounded more upbeat on the economy than investors expected, and said the risk of a recession in the region was low.

Some traders interpreted his message as the central bank would not be as aggressive in its easing measures and that the U.S. Federal Reserve could follow suit when it meets next week.

On the data front, investors will likely focus on the second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product data due Friday.

Economists, on average, expect the economy slowed to a pace of 1.8% in the second quarter from the 3.1% rate seen in the previous quarter.

But some analysts appear more optimistic on the pace of economic growth.

"We forecast GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.5% in 2Q19, led by strong contributions from consumer spending and government expenditures. In part, historical data that is about to be revised contribute to this forecast," Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) said in a note.

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